Time to Find Woodpeckers

Ten years ago I was at the first meeting of a new, statewide project, involving a couple dozen people from different disciplines.  The facilitator for the meeting used an icebreaker to start us off.  “Write down something that happened to you this morning, then pick a partner and share what you’ve written down.”

I wrote, “I wish I’d had time this morning to go find the woodpecker I could hear in a tree at the edge of the yard when I got home from my run.”  My partner in the exercise laughed when I read it to her.  “Only you would think about something like that, Grace,” she said.  I’m not quite sure what part she found unusual — the morning run, the awareness of the woodpecker, the desire to see the bird, or maybe all of them together.

It’s that time of year again, birdsong ascending in the mornings when I go out, and the sound of a woodpecker almost every day.  This morning I did stop, under a large, old maple with many dead branches, a magnet for woodpeckers.  I could hear the pecking, and I tried to find the bird, but I couldn’t see it in the time I had.  Back to running, back to the house to get ready for work.

Ten years later I still want time to find woodpeckers.

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