I walked out, and the nest
was already there by the step. Woven basket
of a saint
sent back to life as a bird
who proceeded to make
a mess of things. Wind
right through it, and any eggs
long vanished. But in my hand it was
intricate pleasure, even the thorny reeds
softened in the weave. And the fading
leaf mold, hardly
itself anymore, merely a trick
of light, if light
can be tricked. Deep in a life
is another life. I walked out, the nest
already by the step.
–Marianne Boruch, Copyright © 1996 by Marianne Boruch
This photo and post are in response to this week’s theme for the 52 Photos Project. You can see a gallery of everyone’s photos for this week’s theme here. To see a list of all my blog posts for this project, go here.
When I walk, I tend to watch the path. I have a history of tripping and twisting my ankles and I worry about a misstep and the resulting pain. I’ve been known to trip on sidewalks. (This morning I tripped on the kitchen floor.)
Sometimes I’m so busy watching where I place my feet and thinking my walking thoughts that I miss seeing the things happening around me: shivery views of sunlight on the river, a deer family grazing in the tall summer grass, a hawk swooping down to pluck a vole from the meadow.
(Knowing me, I probably also miss black bear mamas tossing their cubs playfully in the air; wise old owl (mortar boarded) teaching algebra to his squirrel and chipmunk pupils; and unicorns galloping across that same summer field, in a blaze of glitter. But I digress.)
I remind myself to look up. Watch the world! Pay attention! Be aware! But, after awhile, I drift back to meditating the space between my feet and the trail in front of them. Sometimes, though, looking down brings you surprises you miss when you’re busy looking around.
All of which is to say: Yesterday, on my walk with the dog, I was staring at the slushy trail, when I saw an interesting object inside a perfectly cupped depression beside a melting ski track. An upside down nest.
It had been buried under the snow for weeks, maybe more, and was only revealed yesterday because of the week’s melting. The snow is falling today. The nest would be hidden again. A reward for my tunnel vision.
Another benefit to watching the trail as you walk? When you finally do look up, you get to see that amazing optical illusion where the clouds seem to streak backward across the sky.