“Come with me,” my mom said with a twinkle in her eye, “I have something to show you.” She led me outside and handed me a pair of binoculars. Wordlessly, she pointed at the pine tree on the edge of property. I held the binoculars up to my eyes and peered into the green trees. Right there, perfectly framed by branches was an owl nest with two fuzzy owlets. I could hardly breathe as I watched them preen their fuzzy shoulders and eagerly accept the food from the incoming parent. The nest is in a perfect location; visible from our deck but far enough from the house so we can watch without disturbing them.

Two owlets in the pine tree. Their fluffy bodies make them seem larger than their parents.

I have shared my love of nature with many of the elders I work with; we very often spend just as much time talking about nature as we do art in our art therapy groups. One woman shared the book Wesley The Owl with me; a book I have since passed along to many other nature-lovers. To have an owl family right outside our house has been a beautiful gift. So many things pull at my attention each day; it is easy to get distracted or overwhelmed. A co-worker recently shared this post encouraging “cute breaks” as a productivity tool; I’ve enjoyed sharing the owl photos in my office this week.

Curiosity about the natural world helps me feel more present in each moment. When I walk outside to check on the owl family each morning, I hear other birds stirring in the crisp air, I smell the damp earth, and I notice the changing clouds above. The world is filled with small pockets of beauty all the time; sometimes we just need prompting from something extraordinary to notice and appreciate all the ordinary wonder out there waiting for us.

Originally published at medium.com