This week is the Aussie Backyard Bird Count and I thought I would get involved. There's an app for it that you can download for free. It times you for twenty minutes, while you sit in your garden and watch for birds. You record the birds that you see on the app. It even helps you identify them, if you are not a bird expert (I was very grateful for this). It is super easy to use and you are doing your little bit for science.
I don't find it hard to meditate or sit still for a period of time, but I know others do. This was such a simple, meditative act, but I can see for a more task-oriented person, it would be one way to slow down and feel like there was a purpose to it. As I sat, I became very aware of every flit and flutter around me. I noticed how quickly birds move, how many fly overhead and how noisy they can be. My eyes were opened, not only to the activity of the birds, but to my own presence in the garden.
When the timer stopped and I was prompted to submit my results, I was surprised how the twenty minutes had passed so quickly. The dishwasher was still waiting to be unpacked, the emails were still there to be answered, the to-do list hadn't gone anywhere and life continued. I wonder if I do this every day this week, if it could become a habit? We shouldn't need the excuse of an app or a project in which to contribute to see the benefit of the quiet, still moments. Sometimes, however, we need to experience something before we are convinced.
I hope that some of you Aussie readers might find twenty minutes to sit in your garden this week and perhaps it could become a regular thing.