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The Benefits of Looking Straight Up

yes we need to look at our feet to be sure we’re not going to stumble into a hole or step on a worm. and we need to look straight ahead to see a friend coming our way, to avert an accident (defensive driving), or to enjoy a panoramic view

. what we seldom do, in my opinion, is crane our necks and look up, straight up. i look up a lot. any time i see a flying thing, i look up because i love birds. every winter on the kaw river levee i see bald eagles fishing in the open water by the dam. they come in numbers to this spot when other bodies of water are frozen over. that’s the only reason i really wish for cold, cold weather. after the spring thaw they have many other fishing holes to choose from so i rarely see them.

even though, they’ve long since left the levee, i find myself continuing to look for them. the other day, this paid off. i looked up, way up, and saw one. i had to watch it for quite a while to make sure it was a bald eagle and not a hawk. you can tell it’s an eagle when the wings are in a straight line when they soar. a hawks wings form a slight v. i looked around to see if anybody else was looking up….and no one was.

sitting on my deck reading last week, i looked straight up when i caught a glimpse of a mass of birds flying overhead. i had to look and look and look because they were an endless body. my guess is that they were grackles – black bodies, long tails. i can’t begin to guess how many there were. infinite is my guess. it was an endless sea of birds. breathtaking. i wondered how many others were also looking up to see this massive migration. so impressive.

on my walk just now – enjoying the crisp blue sky and clean air after a spring rain – i looked straight up as i walked under a blooming bradford pear tree. the canopy of white blossoms was there in full beauty just for me. such a happy feeling it brought me. and it’s in my memory now for continued enjoyment. i can still see the mass of black birds and soaring eagle too. these images put a special bounce in my step.

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