First we were playing cards. Then the phone rang. While I waited for my husband to wrap up the conversation with his mom, I was startled to see a turkey walking on our sidewalk! A turkey! On the sidewalk! In town! I pointed her out to Mike then ran to get the kids so they could see, and we watched a mama and two babies check out our front yard and find the perfect place to bed down amidst our hostas and pachysandra! It was our very own Marty Stouffer Wild America moment. We watched from the living room window for a while, careful not to disturb them since the windows were wide open.
Eventually Mike called his mom to finish their conversation and the kids went back upstairs. Yet still I sat, watching. Sitting and watching. Sitting and watching. It felt like such a special occasion. We've lived in town for 16 years and have never to our knowledge had a turkey in the yard. And as you can probably tell, I don't spend a whole lot of time with animals. I was riveted.
It's also not very often that I just sit and observe anything. I attempt to meditate every morning, some days more successfully than others. I'm supposed to observe my thoughts and let them go without getting attached. I find that to be almost impossible. Yet when mama and her babies arrived, I just sat. I didn't have to do anything. As a matter of fact, it was better if I didn't do anything as we didn't want to startle them. And when I was watching, they had my full attention. I didn't think about anything else. I just observed.
When I walked away, I felt happier and a lot more relaxed than I had been in weeks. I am often so busy taking action that I forget sometimes it's okay to just take it all in. Not just okay, important.
The turkeys haven't been back since. But I'm grateful for the way they taught me a lesson that hadn't quite sunk in during lots of mindfulness training.
Want to be more present? Observe.
Photos by Jon Sailer on Unsplash and Mike Myers