I spy…

The bloodroot started popping up this week. It’s a spring ephemeral. Blink and you’ll miss the dainty white blooms. These pics are one day apart.

Dad and I used to hunt for colors when stuck in waiting mode. Bus stop, doctor’s office, post office, restaurant (starting to sound like a Richard Scarry Busytown books).

We would try to stump each other with the smallest things. I spy with my little eye. . . something red (collar on a dog in the bottom corner of the picture hanging next to the reception desk).

We did other stuff too… make puns, ponder Big Questions, read, and sit in companionable silence. But lately I have been thinking about this simple game as I crouch, squint, and zoom in to watch spring.

I spy. . tiny trillium and bloodroot leaves blending in with the woodchips. The saw-toothed tips of hellebore foliage chasing jaunty blooms. The dusty pink Dr. Seuss-evoking shoot of another spring ephemeral (I think) whose name I always forget.

“I spy” steers attention to the often overlooked details that add texture and whimsy to our surroundings. I am not sure why that matters.* Perhaps it helps us practice being observant for when the stakes are higher. Maybe it shows respect for human labor and creativity. Reverence for nature.

This outward focus also quiets and calms my racing thoughts. I am not surprised it can be used as a grounding strategy for managing anxiety and difficult emotions.

Of course, this time of the year, my top grounding strategy is staying close to the ground. I am grateful to have so much to spy on.

*Trying to keep my ears open for assertions often considered self-evident.

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