More universe weirdness:
On Saturday night, during my solo show, I told a story about a day years ago when my fifth grade class and I watched a rabbit running for its life from a hawk.
The story was chosen randomly by audience members and crafted on the spot. I was given the word “bird” and then required to tell a true story from my life involving a bird.
The hawk and rabbit immediately came to mind.
The rabbit, in case you wanted to know, managed to escape the hawk by inches, reaching the forest in the nick of time. My students exploded in cheers except for one small boy who looked up at me and said, “I was rooting for the hawk.”
It’s a story about now matter how well a teacher prepares for their school day, the best lessons often appear from the ether.
The morning after telling this story, as my friend Andrew and I chased down our tee shots on the 17th fairway at Rockledge Golf Club, we encountered a hawk, standing in the middle of the fairway atop a dead squirrel.
A hawk, standing atop its breakfast, just staring at us.
Less than 12 hours after I told my hawk versus rabbit story.
We got within about a dozen feet of the bird and took photos.
Later in the day, while watching my children play on the playground, I spotted a woodpecker hammering away at a tree. We stood below the bird, who continued to hammer away, dropping wood chips on our heads.
I took photos and video. Clara informed us that it was a piliated woodpecker because she is a giant nerd.
Two never-before-seen bird encounters, both less than 24 hours after telling my bird story.
The universe really does work in mysterious ways.
It’s also a reminder to go do stuff.
Andrew and I saw that hawk while many people were still sleeping. We were outdoors, standing in the light of the early morning sun, walking, talking, exercising, competing, and seeing stuff.
Last week we watched a family of deer cross the fairway in front of us. That same weekend, we watched a coyote chase a rabbit through the fairway and into the woods. A week before, we watched as a large eagle circled overhead.
About an hour to go before the Patriots kicked off the 2020 football season, I told the kids to pile into the car so we could stop by a playground. It would’ve been just as easy to let them play in the backyard as I prepared for the game, but I wanted to take them somewhere.
I wanted to do stuff.
That’s when we saw the woodpecker.
After the Patriots victory, I went on a long bike ride. Along the way, I rode through the park and saw a group of about a dozen elderly people, sitting in an enormous, socially-distanced circle in the middle of a field, talking and laughing and eating sandwiches from a blanket of food in the center of their circle.
It was quite the sight.
On the way home, stopped to listen as the local high school chorus as they practiced outside the school. I rode through a playground and watched a father push three separate, small boys – maybe triplets – on three separate swings, moving back and forth like a short-circuiting machine as the boys giggled.
The sandwich circle. The high school chorus. The frantic father of three. I’m so glad I saw it all.
I had the same number of hours as everyone else in the world on Sunday, but my Sunday felt enormous. Filled with interesting and amusing and never-before-seen things.
Do stuff. You can’t see good stuff unless you do stuff.