On a scale of one to 10, from “largely oblivious” to “always attentive,” where would you place your level of awareness? Are you stumbling half-asleep through your days, or are …
On a scale of one to 10, from “largely oblivious” to “always attentive,” where would you place your level of awareness? Are you stumbling half-asleep through your days, or are you tuned in to details that others don’t seem to perceive?
Most of us fall somewhere between the extremes, especially when other distracting sensory stimuli factor into the experience.
Such was the case for me on a recent dog walk along the Ten Mile River. As I tried not to get tangled in the leashes or to trip down the riverbank, my attention was drawn to the rush of the nearby water, distracting me from the clump of flotsam tangled in the roots of a tree to my right.
I am still recovering from a fall experienced nearly six months ago, and therefore have been focused on more mindful awareness of my surroundings and how I am interacting with them. The last thing I need right now is another spill and the limits that places on life. So I sat down and simply began looking around, tuning in and becoming more still in body and mind.
In such attentive looking, one becomes grounded in the present moment of experience. The “I” begins to perceive what is being revealed to the eye.
As my gaze fell upon the disheveled strands of dried grasses trapped at the base of the tree, the lens of perception came more clearly into focus. The wild mess was actually a ground nest crafted by a creature, a safe place constructed for the purpose of shelter, rest, rearing young, hiding from predators, keeping warm or simply stashing stuff.
In the wild, nests are not very permanent things, not often large or intended for more than a few occupants, and assembled in ways that don’t draw the attention of potential predators. Nesting is a thing one does when the world is cold and uncomfortable, and being held in a mossy cup or grassy bed would be good.
The relationship between perception and awareness fosters this deeper sense of seeing. Make some time to tune in to what’s out there among the wilds of the Upper Delaware River region.
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