Pay Attention, It’s Cool!

Have you ever had one of those moments of clarity that rivaled Plato, or Leonardo da Vinci? Maybe the Dalai Lama or Tom Petty? We’re talking moments, okay.

They seem to come to me when I’m exercising, like riding my bike, or lately, walking and listening to Pandora. (You can listen while you read by clicking here http://www.pandora.com/#/station/play/749768438523820680) Lynyrd Skynyrd and Barenaked Ladies does it for me. Okay, Tom Petty, too. http://www.myspace.com/tompetty

Today it was the bike ride. I decided to really pay attention to things around me and boy was it cool. (Who says cool, anyway? Me.)
A robin flew with me for thirty yards, off to my left flank, glancing at me, keeping pace, flap and coast, waiting for me to catch up. I could see his feathers flutter in the wind, and his eye keeping an eye on me. Then he cruised over to a fence, lit, and glanced back as I pedaled on. I waved bye. That was cool. http://www.weforanimals.com/free-pictures/birds/robins/page-1/pictures-2.htm

The smell of fresh mown grass on the Cathy Fromme Prairie; the piercing, plaintive song of the Meadow Lark, (and the in-between chirps, like preparing for the opera); the clacks and squeaks of the red wing blackbird; the feel of the rhythm in my pedaling and breathing; the gray clouds gathering from the mountains and cooling the air; the many greens and textures of trees. All of this kept me company today. Yeah. Cool. Click on both videos together and get the real feel.

Not on the bike ride, but most important to observe is family. My grandson saw me for the first time in five days (I was away fishing–go figure), and ran to me with arms outstretched, yelling, “PahPas.” When he hugged me I could feel it in my chest, and my eyes watered. The best cool there is.

Maybe the exercise is like flushing the old stagnant blood from the boulders of gray cells and putting in new oxygenated blood. Yep, a fly fishing analogy. Alas. (I know–no one says “alas” anymore? Deal with it.) Maybe the last several days of fly fishing opened up my mind, kind of like putting aside a novel I wrote for a while and going back and editing and making it so much better. Time does that sometimes: makes us better.

Not sure what, but I do know it was cool . . . right up until the time I thought I was still young enough to pedal, drink water and look at the scantily clad girl walking by. Fumble water, almost break ankle trying to clip out of pedals before nearly falling. I recovered. Geez, I just looked at her. Okay, so I ogled. She walked off. Probably noted my fall in her daily journal under “Pay Attention, Dummy.” Right, she has a journal. More like a facebook page. Hope she didn’t take a video with her iPhone. I’ll have to ride at night from now on.

Anyway, maybe just paying attention to all those little things each day will help me feel good about the world and avoid anger that can lead to arguments and war. Me and Tom Petty. Don’t forget the Dalai Lama. Yeah.

In the words of the immortal, or irreverent, Bill Murray, in Caddyshack, “So, I got that going for me.”

 

Milt

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