A lifetime or two ago I worked as a freelance editor for a client who paid (comparatively) well and wanted all of my time, to the point where I turned down work from prior clients. They measured my work in edited pages, so I began to measure my time that way as well. I woke early and set each day’s goals in completed pages, arranging my breaks and meals and time around self-set deadlines based on how much money I wanted to make that day; gradually driven more and more by a soft sort of greed.
I lived in a San Francisco flat and one morning, while I was at the kitchen sink with a view of gray sky out the window frame just over my head, a sole bird flew across that rectangle of sky; powerful, slow wing beats, northbound, visible only for a second or two and gone.
That damn bird haunted my morning. Alone with page after page of legal reference I envied a stupid gull.
While I no longer freelance for that legal publisher, it still happens sometimes; today in fact. In between household tasks I stood for a moment on our second floor deck, looking westward at our trees, the ash and pear in the foreground, ornamental plum beyond and tall poplars at the end of our yard, and a half dozen gulls flew across my plane of view.
Strong wing beats, not an ounce of wasted motion, powerful and focused, not in a hurry yet fast across the sky.
I’m so easily impressed by every day miracles; forgive the obvious, but it’s so cool to me:
They can fly! They can fly! They can fly!
I don’t know that it will ever stop being amazing to me.