I read this poem today by William Stafford and felt it spoke to this “paying attention practice” I’ve been attempting to do this month.  My small stone for the day will come after his poem….you will see why.

You Reading This, Be Ready

Starting here, what do you want to remember?
How sunlight creeps along a shining floor?
What scent of old wood hovers, what softened
sound from outside fills the air?

Will you ever bring a better gift for the world
than the breathing respect that you carry
wherever you go right now?  Are you waiting
for time to show you some better thoughts?

When you turn around, starting here, lift this
new glimpse that you found; carry into evening
all that you want from this day.  This interval
you spent
reading or hearing this, keep it for life-

What can anyone give you greater than now,
starting here, right in this room, when you turn


When I turned around, this is what I discovered:

Hundreds of Mallards mingling on the lake.  The sound of their shrill whistles criss-crossing the cold air like a well-choreographed concert.  I stopped to applaud the show; they bowed their green and brown heads into the water.