Focus

I have a habit of sitting on my deck and meditating on the coming light of day, listening, observing the earth come out of darkness wherever I am. This particular morning I noticed again a small dark shape suspended between the deck post and a nearby tree. It was right in my field of vision in that place of half sky half far hillside where I often see first light strike the land at this time of year. I’d noticed the shape suspended there for several days. It appeared to be a spider in the middle of its orb or possibly a wound up insect dangling within a web. I’d intended to investigate the first time I’d noticed it but had forgotten it each day with the brightening sky.

I was distracted by the heavy mist obscuring Bordeaux tower and the clouds floating off across the top of the far hillside so slowly I couldn’t detect the direction of movement at first. Into my reverie on weather and clouds came a small dark shape. The blob I’d noticed for days and forgotten to investigate was no longer still. I watched it from my seat suddenly jog upward with great speed, then return to its resting place. Then it took off to one side. Always it moved within the same area of space and returned to the same spot. Odd, I thought, thinking of someone jigging for smelts through a hole in the ice. Is a spider fishing? I got up to take a closer look.

The sun was not above the horizon yet. It was the time of morning when color and detail are not yet defined. I stood about six feet from the spot where the movement was and could detect no web, no connecting silk between this bouncing thing and nearby vegetation. I watched for some time as it zipped off and bounded back to the same center.

No answers were visible. I decided to wait for full light, but just as this thought entered my mind I heard a sound. It was the tiniest of high pitched buzzing. It stopped and started. I saw it then. It buzzed as it jigged about. The blob must have tiny wings. Not believing my ears I bent a bit closer. Could I see it? Not really. But each time it moved back to the center, the buzzing stopped.

I resolved to sit back down and wait for daylight to investigate more thoroughly. It seemed impossible that such an insect could always return to hover in exactly the same place. And why was there no wing beat when it returned to the same resting spot in mid air? Certainly it could not hover without beating its wings.

A pair of binoculars is never far from my chair, and I grabbed them. They were focused for a distance farther out. I’d been working on recognizing doves and pigeons from their voice. Focusing the left eyepiece in the growing light I saw clearly tiny wings fanning like a hover fly.The blob was in motion and kept zooming out of my field of view. I twirled the knob for the right eye, focusing on the deck post, the nearest object, closing my left eye to check the right. I was only gone from that plane of motion for an instant. When I returned, the insect was gone. I waited some time, searched around the area, scanned the space nearby, but it was gone.

The thing was a gift I figure. I see it as having been suspended there for me to notice, and once I did, its need to be was fulfilled. It was nothing more or less than a reminder of possibilities- the admonition to stay focused on what is at hand, though I might see it clearly with only half my vision.

© 2010 Jennifer M. Pierce, All Rights Reserved

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