I am spending a lot of time noticing. Whether it is spring’s tug-of-war battle with winter or the upcoming anniversaries, big & small, of the past year, there does seem to be an art to noticing. I’m no Picasso, but I am practicing this art and hoping that it will transform me into something better. So, I sit noticing things (which looks a whole lot like just sitting).
I see the barely green grass pushing through the melting snow and I wait patiently for the birds to rediscover the treasures hiding in our red maple, some placed intentionally by tiny human hands and some coming out of the natural transition from dormant to rebirth. I am noticing the struggle for spring to win this March battle, although we all know the game is rigged in her favor, and I am seeing metaphors in even the smallest bud. It is a writer’s muse, rich in detail and symbolism.
And then there are the anniversaries. Daily reminders of what we lost or discovered from this past year. We are just about to cycle through the days that are heavy with incredible firsts. I am not sure I am prepared to walk back through this pandemic and feel all of those moments again, but I am noticing this step-by-step passage of time and the whirlwind of activity that marks this perpetual groundhog day. (Remember that? When everyone started to realize that this was like Groundhog Day and we were all Bill Murray, just not as funny?)
I have fooled some folks into thinking that I don’t notice most things…that I don’t see the trees in the forest, just the forest and the repercussions of the forest in the bigger picture of the universe and the unceasing passage of time. Someone once said that details are not my strength and that is right, some of the time. But it is the details that sit in my brain, taking up space, fighting for primacy in my thoughts. The details from conversations that replay over and over again, on a loop that gets louder and louder until I am certain that everyone can hear. The details from the leaves in the forest center my field of vision and sometimes I don’t even realize that I’m in the woods.
I guess it is a little bit of both, this noticing, seeing the big and small, the details and their place in the bigger picture. It is an in-between, like the space between winter and spring or the time just before time continues.