Moments That Stop Time

I’m keeping an eye on 98 year old Grandpa Herb this weekend. He’s my stepmom Judy’s dad, and he’s been living with Judy and my father for many years now. When they go out of town, I sometimes stay here with Herb. We play a lot of Rummikub and focus our time on meals and talking about the good old days.

While Herb was napping this afternoon, I sat out on the screened-in porch. It’s the greatest room in the house. All the windows were open to the heavenly 75 degree weather, and I was doing something I rarely do: sitting quietly reading a book in the middle of the day.

Talk about being in the right place at the right time…I was treated to a rare sight: hundreds of Cedar Waxwings stopping for a meal in the backyard, right in front of me. These are such fascinating birds. They move really fast and don’t stop for very long. I watched them for 15 minutes or so while they lit on the brush, ate a few nibbles, and quickly flew away.

They’re gorgeous birds, wouldn’t you agree? This photo is by Greg Lavaty and captures the Cedar Waxwing beautifully. I’m amazed this particular bird stood still long enough for Greg to get the shot! I expect Greg’s a master at being patient…at relaxing and waiting for just the right opportunity.

As I sat on the porch watching these busy birds during their amazing stopover, I thought about how rare it is for me to simply do one thing; like when I read, yellow highlighter in hand, looking for an inspirational quote to share. Even when I eat, I’m usually on the computer reading something, or eating then typing, eating then typing. Just sitting down for a while to read a book like I did today is an effort and feels like I’m being (sharp intake of breath)…lazy! And yet I used to love to sit and read and could be completely satisfied spending time in that way.

When did I get to be such a do-er, rather than a be-er? I’m a spiritually-focused gal, but even at that, I multi-task. Watching these birds move around a bit frenetically made me wonder how I must look sometimes, doing so many things at once…always busy, always productive.

I think I’ll take this as a sign and give myself permission to slow down…to be still more often (doing not much of anything) so I can have unexpected moments, like watching a flock of delightful birds stop briefly by to brighten my day.

I’ve always said, it’s the little things…

©Maria K. Benning, M.Ed.


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