Be Astonished

I got my melted sherbet skies yesterday. Everything gradually softened into daylight after a fiery orange beginning above the horizon. I know better than to try to capture it as I speed down the freeway, so you’ll have to trust me on that. 

Had I left on time yesterday I would have arrived at the trailhead exactly as predicted at 7:45 AM. I slept through a snooze, opting instead for the weirdest motion picture clicking through my mind. I’m almost embarrassed to say this, but in that paper-thin-shallow sleep that happens in the margins of slumber, I am often treated to the most extraordinary thing. 

Images and scenes appear when I shut my eyes.  Clear as a bell they click through like a film strip. Usually they are birds. Of course they are.  (Yep, I know it sounds nuts) Here’s the thing: all I have to do in that semi-conscious state is think of a bird and it comes to me visually in perfect clarity behind the curtain of my eyelids. 

I know. I know. Crazy. 
So I’m ten minutes late out the door. 

Even with a couple stops for photos on the way, I arrive at Coldwater Lake at 7:55 AM. I’m grateful that the bathrooms are open at the boat launch and that the only vehicles in the lot have trailers and I assume the occupants are fishing. I stretch with a walk around the boardwalk areas and walk about half a mile along the Coldwater Lake trail. It’s long. No way is it my destination today. 

I head to the Hummocks Trail where I see one person in the lot. I wait for him to leave then head out. This is a stunning 2.5 mile loop. I walk a ways onto the West Boundary trail (the junction is about .5 miles in), but that is not my destination today either. 

Hummocks trail was spectacular ! Blue skies, birds and perfect solitude. (And something came out of it’s cocoon. Just sayin’. Read yesterday’s post here)

Afterwards, rather than heading home, I went south to Ridgefield. Pretty beautiful there, too. I took two trips around the loop and was treated to a number of special sightings. 

Last night as I dozing off I was treated to another mental film strip. The Cinnamon Teal duck, Varied Thrush and Nutria taking top billing. 

Instructions for living a life.
Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

-Mary Oliver

2 Comments on “Be Astonished

  1. Thanks, Mare … *
    I sometimes think about Mary Oliver when I’m wandering. I quiet myself and really “occupy the space I occupy”. She would definitely approve of that 💜

  2. You aren’t just “living a life…”
    You are living THE life! And you have both the pictures, and the narrative to prove it.
    Mary Oliver would be pleased… I know I am…*

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