Leaving a Mark –
If I were mayor of our town for a day I would rename a section of road a few miles from our house; “Road Kill Way.” Over the past several weeks the temperatures have been significantly above normal, the varmints are out in force and some of them apparently aren’t looking both ways before they cross the road. I’ve seen rabbits, squirrels, armadillos, possums, foxes, and skunks. Way too many skunks. The rest of the unfortunate animals don’t leave the trace the skunks leave. You smell them coming and going. It’s an unmistakable odor. If I remember in time, I hold my nose, if not I am quick to catch my breath once I catch the scent.
Trying to dodge the leftover animal parts today I thought about the road of life and how dangerous it can be navigating our way. I decided I want to go out like the skunk! I want to leave a mark and for people to know, unmistakably, that I was there.
Where We Look –
The last two mornings, as I’ve taken the dog outside for some personal time, there has been a beautiful Robin (https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Robin/id) looking for food. When I’ve spotted the bird I become as still as possible and see how close it’ll get near me. My breathing slows, my movement stagnant, my attention heightened as I watch it hop around looking for breakfast. The rain we had over the weekend has softened the ground and it isn’t long before it’s meal is plucked up from the ground and the bird flies away. I exhale and the world around me comes alive again. The Robin had been my sole focus and until it leaves, by choice or being frightened, and my awareness of the world was dependent on it.
Wisdom tells us that where we place our focus, set our awareness, is life. Where we look, the direction we face is ultimately the direction of our journey. If we only look back we can never go forward. If we’re unfocused, trying to see all directions, we won’t be able to choose a fixed point and begin to travel toward it. Though paradoxical, stillness is the key to knowing and navigating this path called life.