How many times have you been walking down a busy street deep in your own thoughts, harried and looking down or talking loudly into your cell phone to someone? Or talking with a friend next to you preoccupied with the conversation and totally unaware of your surroundings? You may even notice that something has changed, but otherwise ignore it.
Since much of the world that we know is dominated by human beings who manipulate the environment or ignore its impact on us, we often miss the experience of the world of nature and its wildlife all around us. We dont hear the sounds of the birds around us singing to each other or the ducks or ospreys talk to one another. We dont hear sounds of the rivers or Chesapeake Bay as we drive or walk by. We dont even notice that the wind is picking up or moving through the leaves near our house when we water our flowers, which can just seem like a chore to get finished before we get into our cars and fight the traffic to work.
We move into another reality when we surrender to a different meaning and sensation that nature offers to give us for free. Large areas of nature are preserved in our cities and national parks because of the magic we feel being in it, but only when we take the time to drive there. It calls us back to a deeper, quieter part of ourselves and the wildness and beauty of our beginnings on earth.
Next time you find yourself in the presence of wildlife, be more open and listen no matter how little time you may have. Teach a child how to do the same and cherish the gifts it gives you, if even for a moment. The mental, physical, emotional and spiritual benefits to your life will build with each moment and you will find yourself being calmer and more connected with others in a deeper, more meaningful way.