Friday, June 18, 2010

Powers of Observation

Like many of my contemporaries, I have fallen under the spell of Facebook. I originally got an FB account to find and stay in touch with old friends from high school in anticipation of my 30th high school reunion. Now that the reunion has come and gone, FB has lost some of its appeal for me. I recently deactivated my FB account because it was such a distraction. That was two days ago. So far, I am doing pretty good and have not given in to it's whiny voice luring me back to the juvenile pastime of posting what I am doing every waking minute of the day. Yes, I know there are some good things about FB - finding "long lost" friends, posting events, photos, etc.

I have a friend in Wyoming who is the Wild Species Director for the Biodiversity Conservation Alliance, Duane Short. Duane delights in getting out and documenting not only the critters, but also the varied plants in and around Laramie, WY. His brother, Phil, recently posted a photo of Duane, his "observant brother", looking at something wiggling around his feet as he was setting up to photograph a critter.

Duane is very observant - always taking notice of something or other. I thought about that for a bit. Being able to drop out of warp speed this summer to something just slightly less than the speed of sound has been a blessing. It has allowed me to be a bit more observant of my surroundings. I think as a nontrad, I get to moving so quickly during the school year, that life around me becomes a blur. It's nice when the blur slows to the point that it has actual definition.

For example, I have been watching my daughter more, looking at her, taking in how pretty she is. I have noticed that my Dalmatian-mixed dog is getting more spots. I have discovered a new favorite place on campus where I can eat lunch, read and observe the goings on around me without really being noticed. I have noticed that my house gets really dusty. (Sigh.)

It's nice to be able to stop and notice things - to stop and observe and to ponder. Last weekend, I was trimming a bush in my side yard. I noticed a woolly worm caterpillar crawl across my driveway. I hadn't seen one of those in a long time. I probably just hadn't noticed one in a long time. Like Duane, I need to be a little more observant. It's a good thing. Stay tuned . . .

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