Is it not there? Or are you not looking?

On the way home from the “collaborative workshop” my dad and I attended yesterday (see earlier post) discussing the fates and facts surrounding the endangered Streaked Horned Lark and PNW airports (where the lark has chosen to hang out — too bad for the airport managers that the lark doesn’t like it best inside, in the airport lounge).

We couldn’t help but notice that on the map they handed out to the attendees, showing the known locations of lark breeding grounds, that dad’s airport in Toledo (known for its prairie-like landscape even without the false formation of a prairie-like land surrounding a typical airport) didn’t have any larks.

Hmmm, we thought, are there no larks? Or are we just not looking for them?

When I took to photo of the double-crested cormorant (above) I wasn’t looking at anything but the large bird wonderfully displayed and reflected in the water.

It wasn’t until I got home that I was able to see more deeply into the scene.

If you look back at the photograph of the cormorant, perhaps now you’ll see that the picture has changed for you. Of course, the picture really hasn’t changed, only the way you look at it has changed.

Now you can see the mallard and hen hanging out in the tall grass. Your lens is able to focus on the details of a bigger picture, perhaps.

Or perhaps, unlike me, you saw those details right away.

The other day, while on an extended pishing trip through the woods, I saw and photographed four, count ’em FOUR, new birds.

But in reality, the birds probably weren’t “new” at all, just new to me. I just hadn’t been looking for them before. In fact, the Belted Kingfisher, my son Stosh says, has had a nest in a tree in the middle of one of the ponds for years. Stosh has spent a lot of time alongside the ponds, waiting for ducks to fly in. He notices things like that.

But had I seen it before? Never.

What can we see — what wonders, what amazing light from God or what delights hidden in the darkness beyond our initial scan of any situation — would we find if we just shut our mouths long enough (my Lenten Focus) and sit still and really look?

What are you missing because you are too busy Doing and not concentrating on Being.

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~ by Kimberly Mason on March 10, 2011.

2 Responses to “Is it not there? Or are you not looking?”

  1. What a great couple of posts. I wonder if I could manage a meaningful silence? And if I could really be mindful of the world around me?

  2. Delicious, Friend. I do this…I stumble, I fall, I get muddy knees and such, but good gosh, there’s grace in my trying. There has to be!
    Sending you the strongest listening vibes across country.

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