Heretofore, the only opossums I had ever seen were on highways or roads. Flat and still. But this one was moving. I was amazed.
Yesterday afternoon, I'd just visited a church member in the nursing home and was sitting in my car, ready to drive on to the hospitals for visits when I spotted an opossum exploring the vegetation: sniffing, scratching, searching.
Alive, opossums are fascinating to watch.
One of the lessons I'm learning as I study and write fiction is to pay attention and to take in as much as I can, and I'm discovering an amazing amount of richness in my life and in God's creation.
I'm like my 19-month-old granddaughter June Elizabeth for whom everything is endlessly fascinating. Nothing escapes her attention, especially an open drawer or cabinet I forgot to close.
Are you taking in everything in your life like a toddler? Are you listening to what people say to you, how they say it, the feelings behind their words? Do you smell the honeysuckle while you're on a walk? Do you notice the roses in your garden? (Do you have a garden?)
Are you living now, not yesterday or tomorrow? If you're not, you're missing life. I've missed too much life for lots of reasons, but no more.
Frederick Buechner, a novelist and Christian theologian, writes in his autobiographical work, The Sacred Story: "listen to your life...."
I want to listen to my life, yes, but also to watch my life and what's happening every second, for this is the only life I'll ever have in this world. I want to make it count. It's a gift from God to be enjoyed, celebrated.
I want to see that next opossum wandering through the grass.