Remember You’re an Animal

Today I feel like a cross between a reference book and a coin sorter, making sense and order of a thousand disparate details and translating the legalese lot of it into plain English. Most days, I enjoy my work, but then most days, I am not chained to my chair for hours at a time. Usually, I get up and move, walk, stretch, run, head outside and pull a weed or two. Not today. Today, I have a last-minute rush deadline and it leaves me feeling like an automaton.

My brain is spinning, my body forgotten.

I work through the afternoon and into the evening. At 8:30 I look up from my computer screen and am momentarily stunned by what I see. I am working on my dining room table and sit facing a massive window overlooking our backyard, a golf course, and a treed ridge in the distance, layer upon layer of emerald green topped by blue sky. Tonight, when I finally look up, it is just in time to see the world bathed in the soft blue-tinged cast of twilight, that magical, momentary bent of light signalling the onset of darkness. I leave my chair, my computer, my work and walk to the window, press my nose up against the cool glass. The sun is melting in the distance, white-gold, in a heather-blue sky, occasional puffs of white cloud scattered about. This light is fleeting, lasting all of ten minutes, maybe less. It and casts an ethereal, other-worldly glow over everything, leaving a feel of magic in the air. If there is a heaven, I’ve often thought, the light would be just like this.

I walk to the back door and out onto the porch, breathing in deeply the fresh, damp evening air, closing my eyes for a moment and drinking in a chorus of birdsong: the whistle of a red winged black bird, the mournful coo of a dove, the cheerio chirps of a robins, and the whistle-thrum of a wood thrush.

I am reminded of who I am.

Apparently, homo sapien means “wise man” in Latin. Maybe. But we can be pretty dumb animals, forgetting where we belong, and that is, in the Kingdom Animalia.  We are built to move, not to sit, not to live in our heads, at least not all of the time, not for long hours all in a row.

Today is an anomaly and I`m grateful for the reminder. I`ve had a solid week of training, alternating the fitness workouts my trainer gave me with running and walking.  Even today, I managed two one-mile walks. Better than nothing, but not really enough, not for this animal.

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