trying to walk and look up at birds at the same time

This is what happens when I’m happily walking along and then hear bird activity above my head!  Quickly looking up, while walking along a curved line can result in wildly flailing arms!

I’ll set the scene.  It’s hot, in-the-high-nineties hot.  I’m working with my website team to get my website up and running.  They’ve requested a picture of me walking my labyrinth.  I’m not much for having photographs taken of me, so I tend to choose to not get in front of the camera, but I’m game, because I know that it will be useful to have on the website.I ask my niece, who’s visiting us from Suzhou, China, to take pictures of me.  We head out.  Again, it’s hot.  The labyrinth is much cooler as it’s mostly shaded, but 98 in the shade is still HOT!  (And I’m an Alaskan girl at heart, so I get whiny about heat).  The heat makes the sand in the maiden spiral hotter.  It’s not stingy hot, but it’s hot.  It also makes the shady bits lovely!

I really didn’t get very far before the shot above happened.  I was walking and then I heard my birds!  Those lovely little nuthatches chattering above me.  I love how I can hear them coming from the trees further to the northeast of my labyrinth as they make their rounds of their territory (or so I imagine).  So, up I look and over I start to fall and wild go my arms.

My niece was very excited that she got that shot, but she kept silent about it as I continued walking so as to not spoil the mood.

I found it interesting to walk knowing that I was being watched and photographed.  I sit with people while they walk all the time.  It’s part of a typical labyrinth session.  You walk and I sit in the purple sky chair hung from one of the nearby guardian Oak trees and I watch, silently, as you walk.  Some part of me takes note of what is happening for you as you walk.  Are there birds coming up and announcing your presence, did you wobble just there at the turnaround of the adolescent spiral, did the wind blow the redwood branch down upon you, brushing up and caressing your head?  I don’t take notes or even necessarily make a mental marker for things because I’ve discovered that those things that want to be mentioned in the conversation afterwards, happen automatically.  They’ll get triggered as you speak to me about your experience.

Oh right, back to me.  I’ve never walked with anyone watching me before and I’ve certainly never walked it with someone intent on taking as many photographs as possible.  What I found interesting is that I was far less self-conscious than I thought I’d be.  Occasionally I would find myself thinking, “chin up!  don’t create a double chin by looking down!. . .” and then as I’m looking up I’d get distracted by some cool pattern in the branches or discover that actually, there was a bird just there above my head.  I’d heard it chitting earlier, but had stopped listening apparently, and there it is still chitting quietly above me.  Not an insistent chit.  Just a little chit, chit, chit as the chickadee on the branch of the next tree over does the same thing.

So, off-balance, literally as I flail my arms for balance, off-balance as I walk the labyrinth with my attention occasionally drawn to the lovely girl taking pictures of me, off-balance as I realize that I am more and more excited about the new website going live!

I’m just enjoying the off-balance-ness of my life as it currently exists.  It doesn’t feel like a wobble, but more like an excited hum that is buzzing me.  I’ve feeling buzzed by Life!