Arriving at the park I was greeted with an empty parking lot, which meant the entire park and lake were mine to explore. And the birds, serenading me in place of children's laughter and screams, seemed to focus entirely on me.
It also meant the Rudy-dog was leash-free, which sure made him happy. And me, so that I didn't have to walk and stop at his schedule.
And that's a new focus for my walks: stopping. There seems to be a greater connection with what is in my environment when the busy-ness of walking and moving and eyes ground focused or moving over the terrain. It is so much easier to fall into the tunnel-vision of Now when I am in a single place, alive in stillness.
Walking along the shore, it seemed that the geese were particularly relaxed today, with hardly a ripple at my approach. They stayed where they were, very close to the shore, and seemed to be waiting for me as I passed. I stopped. No response. The story of my brush with dolphins surfaced as I watched the water waving before a soft breeze.
Continuing on, the light was shimmering on the wings of bluebirds who seemed to be flying just before me, ahead of me as I approached each one of the trio of Perulas. I assumed it was coincidence that they continued to fly before me, until I rounded the western end of the lake and turned toward the east. They continued to fly in front of me, resting on branches just to the side of the trail, then flitting ahead to the next tree. At one point they had me surrounded; behind, in front, to the side.
Then a female gold finch joined in the fun, hopping and flying on the ground, holding a 10 foot buffer between us as it chirped and hopped in the grass just next to the trail.
When I stopped and stood watching them, they watched me. They didn't bother flying until I moved, and they only flew far enough ahead to create a distance that I would breech in a few steps, only to fly again to the next tree.
Just like the dolphin in the open ocean off Hawaii who glided by just inches from my out-stretched fingers...