Is it just me, or does the world feel especially heavy right now? We’ve barely made it out of virus restrictions and now there’s a terrible war raging overseas. There’s an overwhelming sense of powerlessness lingering in the air. Without even realizing what’s happening, it can seep into your lungs and pull you down. I felt this way last week until a snipe surprised me.
I was walking our two dogs along our dirt driveway one morning. With their noses to the ground, the dogs were fixated on following the scent of something that had undoubtedly traveled the route before us. Suddenly, a flurry of feathers flew up from the ground just inches from my dogs’ noses. It was a snipe, and they hadn’t even seen it. To be honest, neither had I. The dogs were too focused on what had come before and I was bogged down with worry about the days ahead. None of us were paying any attention to what was right in front of us. I suspect the snipe had probably been standing on the ground for quite some time. I’ve encountered these birds in the past, and they’re stubborn. They don’t like to move. On several occasions, I’ve driven down the driveway to find one standing in my path. Instead of flying away, it will always begrudgingly walk down the middle of the driveway for several minutes until finally flying out of the way. We should have seen the bird from several yards off, but we didn’t. Thankfully, the snipe was safe, and it woke me from my stupor.
Since that morning, I’ve tried to shift my focus and pay more attention to the present moment. I’m hearing the sounds of spring, like the nighthawks, bullfrogs, and spring peepers. I’m seeing buds on trees and daffodils poking through the soil. Also, I’m noticing the smell of the skunk cabbage in the swamp. It’s not pleasant, but it reminds me of the warm sunny days to come. I’m shifting my focus and I’m thankful for the blessings that surround me.
My encouragement to you is to embrace spring wholeheartedly. It’s a season of hope and new life. The world may feel like a chaotic mess, but you get to choose how to respond. Look up and look around. Life goes on despite us. Go on with it. Engage. Reach out and embrace it. Listen for the frogs and the birds. Their chorus is amazing. Notice the buds, leaves, and flowers that paint the world with beauty. I won’t suggest that you smell the skunk cabbage, but fill your nose with some wonderful scents of spring. Don’t focus on what is behind or what is to come. Focus on now, and watch out for snipes.