When the student is ready, the teacher appears.
I’ve learned that everyone and everything can be my teacher. But only if I’m a student who is paying attention and willing to learn. Every writer needs to be this kind of good student.
This morning my teachers were two friendly pool guys working in my neighborhood.
When they noticed me shooting pictures of cactus flowers in the pool owner’s yard, one of them teased, “Wanna take my picture?”
“No, I prefer this cactus,” I said.
“Aren’t they beautiful? I’m surprised they don’t have any fragrance,” the younger pool guy said.
“You better take lots of pictures,” the older one warned. “The flowers open at dawn and by noon, they’re done.”
Then the two of them opened the back gate and disappeared.
Their get-it-while-you-can words of wisdom stuck with me during my walk. I opened my eyes like a just-opened cactus flower. Everywhere I looked, I saw my neighborhood with fresh eyes.
Everything was alive and waiting to be admired, beheld, appreciated.
I remembered the title of a short story by Ray Bradbury, “All Summer in a Day.” I hadn’t thought of the story or its title since my days teaching eighth grade.
What if there were only one day of summer?
In Arizona so few summer days are cool enough for a morning nature walk. What if I began treating each day like it was my one and only opportunity to be outside, to feel the early morning breeze, to observe everything I see?
One day only.
I need to get it while I can. While the morning is here, spread out before me in all its beauty. In all its aliveness. In every bird chattering, bees buzzing and gnat swarming precious summer moment.
Eyes wide open, camera in on position, I made the most of this Arizona morning, noticing everything. Before the rising temperature drove me indoors. Before the cactus blooms closed.
Before one magical morning moment disappeared forever.
Thanks for this morning’s lesson, guys.