Friday, November 6, 2009

November 6: Gulls

Some days I'm just driving around minding my own business when poetry throws itself in front of me. Today while carrying out an ordinary errand in Rockland, I was startled into attentiveness by a pair of gulls flying above my car, the light catching their wings and bodies in a way that made them glow angelically. I actually slowed my car to watch them.

Caught me by surprise
over Route One, McDonald's--
flash of white feathers.

Of course, these gulls are among the noisy gang that vigorously scavenge food scraps in the McDonald's parking lot, so not the most likely source for an afternoon epiphany. But that juxtaposition of the sacred and profane of sorts made the moment all the more enlightening--to find beauty amid the ordinary ugliness of fast food restaurants at a busy intersection gave me a brief sense of renewed joy in the greater world. It woke me up, made me aware of where I was and what was around me. Reminded me of the poetry to be found in the mundane if we catch a glimpse from just the right angle.

Further along Route One, a swirling whirlwind of hundreds of leaves rose up over my car, dipping and scattering like small brown birds. Another lovely moment. My favorite song came on. For a few minutes, I was acutely conscious of being happy.

And then I got stuck at a light, a car cut me off, and my mind started to focus again on the next task at hand, shifting out of that brief phase of awareness into just driving back to work.

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