Take Time To See
Below are photos of the baby birds I watched from hatching to flight…posting these photos made me want to share a few thoughts (and a poem I’ve always appreciated).
During my afternoon walk a few days ago, I was blessed to meet two deer who stood silently watching me as I passed a few feet from them, and a startled dove rose from brush as I walked past. The day was cool with much rain, rabbits were out munching on abundant wild greenery, and I detected quite a few new bird voices in the trees. (There have been so many baby birds learning to fly this late summer.) Then a day of thunder, lightning, rain, and a beautiful rainbow in early evening. And, now, today the summer sun is again bright, it’s a hot day with bees and butterflies and I’m preparing to prepare more firewood after a day of writing. I have even spotted a new fawn (rare this late in the season) with its mother. Again, baby birds are everywhere today, as are many wildflowers.
My recent walk on the rainy day brought to mind a favorite poem. I discovered the poem years ago, and I kept thinking of this beautiful poem as I walked, and thus upon my return home again a few days ago I went searching to see if I could find it online to share with my blog readers. Success! The poet, Ray. F. Zaner, was someone I was interested in learning more about, for he must have been a most perceptive man to have penned the words. Turns out Zaner was deeply involved in the Boy Scouts (Online I read he was a Scout Executive.) You may read his poem, “Take Time To See,” at a Boy Scout website (it’s about half-way down the page).
I share this poem because I feel it is a message all of us need to remind ourselves of. No matter how much I appreciate the natural God-given beauty of the natural world, I know there have been times when I have allowed the meaninglessness of the world to intrude upon my life and thoughts to the degree that I neglect to fully appreciate the most wonderful blessing of seeing the beauty around me. It’s been rare that I’ve made this mistake, but it’s important to remember to never let the stress of the world to disturb one’s inner peace. I resolve to never let the insanity of the world intrude upon my appreciation of the things which are real and most important in life…the natural world…and all which lives…and my resolve is to endeavor to express love in every deed, and in every thought. I may not always succeed in the endeavor, but it is my highest intention to do so. But before we can express love to others in our lives, one must first love themselves. And I believe part of loving oneself is making appreciation of the natural beauty around you a part of your life – not the exception.
Take time to see that beautiful sky right now, for never in all history has it appeared just like it does at the moment you view it and it never will again. What artwork! Take time to see the new buds on a wildflower as you walk, for never in all history has it blossomed and never will you see that unique flower again. What artwork! This is the attitude of appreciation to develop, one in which we separate ourselves from all the stresses of the world man has made, so to appreciate what truly is real and good.
The beauty is that the opportunities are everywhere – even right in the middle of a bustling city sidewalk – if only we take time to see. Ever noticed the dandelion poking it’s head between sidewalk cracks, or the cheerful sparrow upon a tree branch? Nature is there, no matter where we are, to be appreciated, if only we take time to see…to experience.
Below are photographs of the baby birds (who spread their wings and flew away but a few days ago). Their mother had built a nest above my kitchen fan beneath my home’s eave (an excellent place, safely high, dry, and sheltered from wind). Every day I was able to not only view them and their attentive mother from sitting on my deck, but heard them tweeting when inside my kitchen and living room. It was delightful to watch them grow day by day.