It’s so easy to go through the day on autopilot, attending to the usual things, whatever they are. I’m grateful for the practice of expanding my attention beyond the habitual. Moving a hose this morning next to the yucca, the habitual attention is to make sure I don’t poke myself on the sharp leaf tips; closer attention reveals a bud emerging from deep inside.

I walk past this bed several times a day sometimes without a glance. I’m grateful that today I paused to notice the first iris in bloom, and all the buds beyond, with blooming nepeta in the background.

With this lovely little dog, who seems content with much less exercise than the big dogs used to demand, I often don’t walk in the woods for a couple of days in a row. Today we went outside the yard twice, south in the morning where the screaming orange globe mallow welcomed us, and north in the afternoon, where there are more wildflowers in bloom than I’ve ever seen. This is the payoff for the long, cold, wet winter.

If I’ve ever seen white phlox here before, I don’t remember it. There was just one small patch of half a dozen clusters along the trail, amid a swath of pink. A few arrowleaf balsomroots are blooming

A few arrowleaf balsomroots are blooming in their usual corner of the trail, and just beyond them, tucked in the shade, a single wild larkspur.

There were many other thoughts and goings on that I might have spent my attention budget on instead, but I’m grateful that I took the time today to pay some attention to the forest and the profusion of wildflowers growing there. May is always the best season on the forest floor, and this year it’s more colorful than it’s been the whole thirty years I’ve been walking it.

3 thoughts on “Attention

  1. What a beautiful wildflower feast. I love these colorful and delightful gifts from the universe. Thank you.

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