I am really starting to enjoy looking at the various mergensers that live within the Blackstone River. I find most of them along the bike trail I go to almost every weekend. The one above was swimming by herself as I watched her totally transfixed by her graceful swimming and the gentle ripples of water she made with each splendid stroke.
The male hooded mergenser is such a beauty. I watched a group of them on Sunday morning appreciating all of their colorful feathers and markings. As I watched, my thoughts started wandering and crept into my mind. I have used this bike path since it first opened which was approximately 4 years ago. In the past, I would lace up my sneakers and run the length of the path with a timer to see if I could break my record each time I ran it. I would use various points of the river as benchmarks on progress and measurement.
Were the ducks here all of this time and I had just never noticed? How could I not have seen a bird as lovely as this even if I wasn't into birding? It didn't take me long to get my answer........ I was too busy running miles, projects, schedules and responsibilities to pay any attention to much of anything. I watch the ducks fly off and feel somehow cheated of the first half of my life by my own doings. All that time there was so much out there for me to see, but I never thought to open my eyes.
The bike path to me is no longer a running track. Most of the people who use it are walkers, runners or bicyclists. We all know each other by now and nod our polite hellos as we pass but they all leave me far behind. I am the one who has noticed the beaver dam over where the heron will build her nest. I am the one who noticed a new bulb flower growing slowly in the corner near the pine tree and I am the one who notices the mergensers swimming gracefully along the river.
I guess it's true what they say about one choosing ones own path in life. Many of us use this same path every day, but for our own various reasons. I walk along the Blackstone River happy that I have finally found true happiness. It is indeed the path well taken.