I went for a walk just a moment ago in the Friday afternoon sunshine. It is a b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l day outside. Balmy air, no wind, clean skies.
I walked along a green sward of trees along the back side of the complex here at work. A landscaped section of trees and grass and hill hocks which I can only assume serve as a buffer against the neighborhood directly adjacent to the property.
I find them a buffer for my spirit against the necessity of working in a building and sitting in a cubicle.
I strode fairly quickly, trying to keep within my allotted 15 minutes break, but making sure I observed the life around me. Two quail walked across the parking lot, their strut-like walk cautious even from afar. We have many cats living on the site here, I see them often lounging in the bushes at several points where a ill strange (I think at least, who the heck does this?) cat lady feeds them in the wee hours. But that is another story.
Other birds sang in the trees in the green swath. I walked past a spring-burned section of weeds along the canal bank, wound my way along the trees by an entry road which bisects the campus, and only breached my self-steered grassy path to cross the road and string my walk out a little longer under some crab apple and blue spruce. I strolled in front of the cafeteria and caught a whiff of fragrance from the hyacinth and crocus there. Its amazing the things we can see if we'll open our observation up to them.
I noticed something too about how I observe others during this time. The runner behind me along the gravel path by the canal was first noted at a distance by the crunch of his shoes. The man who exited from building N unnoticed and also walked behind me by the canal wore a green and blue rugby shirt. After walking through the perfumed flowers by the cafeteria, I noticed a woman walking towards the building with a cigarette burning. Se held it stiffly upright and away from her, at arms length, between her right index and middle fingers. Last of all a man wearing green tinted sunglasses crossed the street two steps in front of me. He had a security chain looped from his belt to his wallet and trembling sine waves rolled along it as he walked.
I moved on through the last copse of landscaped green and looped back around toward the rearward of the building. I noticed a bee on the sidewalk, almost underfoot and too worn out to fly. I stopped to him, put my finger down in front of his head, and invited him on. I did it before I even considered the possibility of him stinging me; it turns out he didn't even consider it. He walked right up my fingertip and waited, his stinger remained sheathed. He and I regarded one another for a moment before I set him gently on a short aluminum signpost. His compound eye and shined dully in the sunlight streaming around me through the new leaves. That aisle way of trees between buildings is weird--the light bounces off the mirror polish of the windows in a strange way, reflects up and through and around. It comes from multiple directions and lights up the tree leaves, making them transparent. This is where he was when I found him, this was where he was when I set him down. It was a moment of dappled lucidity.
I left the bee and walked back into the building, wondering at the veracity of nature and the two edged sword of technology: will one be sacrificed at the expense of the other? Will my grandchildren be able to enjoy days like I enjoyed today?
I hope so. If it is to be, its all in the details that we care to notice. These lasting moments of inflection, of nature, of self study will last longer than any technological perpetua of the moment. Bees and trees and the earth have been around longer than any of us. And it's good to remember that.