28 June 2011
A Bluebird and ATV
The neighbor boy is riding around the yard on his ATV. "A motorcycle," says Lily. "Sure," I say. With one eye on the page, I am attempting to follow what I'm reading. "Where did it go?" she asks. The boy drove around the back of his house. "He'll be back," I say. And then he is, and she is surprised. We have the same conversation several times as he drives from the front to the back. I put down the book; this is just too important.
A bluebird has nested in the birdhouse on the deck. I've seen it time and again and, even as I write this, he is perched on the post just outside the window. He swoops and dives from one tree to the next. His godawful song is annoying as can be, but his color. I am stunned. My book sits in my lap, and I am watching a nine year-old ride an ATV and a bluebird fly from tree to tree, all with my daughter who chatters on and on.
Sally Clarkson writes often about how important it is to be attentive, not just to a child but to the world around us. The dishes can wait, the laundry can wait, the reading can wait. But the magnificence of life maybe cannot wait. Surely I have seen dozens of bluebirds. Surely the neighbor boy will be back on his ATV today. This does not make this moment any less important or special. A long time ago, I was reminded that sometimes it's important to do less. Now is certainly one of those times.