“Come with me,” my mom said with a twinkle in her eye, “I have something to show you.” She led me outside and handed me a pair of binoculars. Wordlessly, she pointed at the pine tree on the edge of property. I held the binoculars up to my eyes and peered into the green trees. Right there, perfectly framed by branches was an owl nest with two fuzzy owlets. I could hardly breathe as I watched them preen their fuzzy shoulders and eagerly accept the food from the incoming parent. The nest is in a perfect location; visible from our deck but far enough from the house so we can watch without disturbing them.
I have shared my love of nature with many of the elders I work with; we very often spend just as much time talking about nature as we do art in our art therapy groups. One woman shared the book Wesley The Owl with me; a book I have since passed along to many other nature-lovers. To have an owl family right outside our house has been a beautiful gift. So many things pull at my attention each day; it is easy to get distracted or overwhelmed. A co-worker recently shared this post encouraging “cute breaks” as a productivity tool; I’ve enjoyed sharing the owl photos in my office this week.
Curiosity about the natural world helps me feel more present in each moment. When I walk outside to check on the owl family each morning, I hear other birds stirring in the crisp air, I smell the damp earth, and I notice the changing clouds above. The world is filled with small pockets of beauty all the time; sometimes we just need prompting from something extraordinary to notice and appreciate all the ordinary wonder out there waiting for us.
Originally published at medium.com