That innocence of mine is mostly gone now, although I felt almost the same pure rush last night. I have seen many muskrats since I learned to look for them in that part of the creek. But still I seek them out in the cool of the evening, and still I hold my breath when rising ripples surge from under the creek's bank. The great hurrah about wild animals is that they exist at all, and the greater hurrah is the actual moment of seeing them. Because they have a nice dignity, and prefer to have nothing to do with me, not even as the simple objects of my vision. They show me by their very wariness what a prize it is simply to open my eyes and behold.
Dillard is all about amazement, She won a Pulitzer Prize for writing about opening her eyes and observing amazing things. It's kind of a dream job. I would love to get up in the morning, have a bowl of oatmeal, pack my journal bag with my writer paraphernalia and a chicken sandwich, and then head out into the world to be struck dumb with awe.
I've had a great weekend of grace, though. Stayed in a beautiful condo with a hot tub. Spent a couple of days chasing my son up the steps to water slides (and nearly collapsing when I got to the top). Had some quality time with my teenage daughter on top of a mountain (and got a picture for my Christmas cards). This morning, I had breakfast al fresco one last time. It was a clear, warm morning, and the landscapers were at work trimming hedges and pulling up weeds. "Sorry about the noise," one of them said as he revved up his leaf blower. I waved my hand. "Everybody's got a job to do," I said, feeling a little like a rich lawyer or neurosurgeon.
Tomorrow morning, I return to work, registering patients, answering phones, and assembling medical records. It's not my dream job, but I haven't seen too many advertisements in the classifieds for a poet/teacher/saint-in-training. I've looked. Yet, I'm working with one of my best friends, and I'm done by about three o'clock in the afternoon. Now, I know that Oprah would tell me to follow my bliss, but I have a family to support. Bliss don't always pay the bills.
I am a blessed man tonight, coming off a weekend of blessings. And I have only four days of work ahead of me. I may not be struck dumb with awe tomorrow. Probably won't have a whole lot of time to write in my journal and see muskrats surfacing in a pond. However, sometimes I see an albino deer ghosting through the woods on my way to work.
Like Dillard, Saint Marty is keeping his eyes open, ready to behold anything that crosses his path.