Every Saturday morning, when the weather is nice, I take a walk around the block.
Of course, living in the heart of Atlanta, my block is a city street that features high-rises, an office complex, and a hotel. But it leads to a massive park, and it is a great gateway to a number of enjoyable routes.
I have walked down that street numerous times … and then, on a recent Saturday morning, I saw it differently.
Before that day, I barely acknowledged the yards and grass in front of the buildings; I noticed the green swaths in front of me, naturally, but I never gave them a second thought. I simply kept listening to whatever was playing in my earbuds, enjoying the wide view of the street, and moving along.
But on this day, I decided I would pay attention. I would look around for details, wherever I could find them, that I would not otherwise notice.
And when I looked at the yards, I saw squirrels.
Lots of them.
Chowing down on grass blades and acorns.
The following Saturday, I looked again — and, once more, I saw the squirrels.
Now I see them whenever I walk by. And I always think to myself, “How did I never notice them before?” These are living creatures, existing en masse right in front of me, yet they never registered in my mind or my eyes.
These are the kinds of details that pass by journalists and storytellers every day. (more…)