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  • jamesmsweet

It's OK To Stare

When I drive to work in the morning I cross the Hudson River. The river is not as wide this far north as it is where it empties into the ocean near New York City.

There is a bridge that takes me over the Hudson into Mechanicville and there is a traffic light at the end of that bridge. Sometimes if the traffic is heavy and if the light turns red at the right time, I will get stopped on the bridge. I'll look over into the water and wonder what it would be like to float on that river all the way to the Atlantic Ocean.

On a recent morning I was stopped right off the bridge at the traffic light. The red light tends to be a little long because the intersection is not a complete square and each of the four roads go into the intersection individually on the light instead of two at a time.

While I was sitting at the light I resisted the temptation to pick up my phone and start looking mindlessly at nothing. I would have been lost trying to bring up the box score from the Red Sox game from the night before and the light would have turned green. The car behind me would have laid on the horn and I would have been panicked and punched the gas through the recently turned green light. I would have started my day off in a state of stress. Not good for a Monday.

Instead I looked out the window at the neighborhood. I noticed some lilac bushed that had started to bloom. Their purple leaves are a favorite of mine. I wondered when the big lilac bush in the corner of my yard would start to bloom. There are buds on there so I know it will be soon. I like to cut some of the flowers from that bush and put them in a vase on my kitchen table. It adds a dose of spring to my morning.

I watched an English sparrow fly across my windshield. He flew out of one of the lilac bushes into a pine tree on the other side of the road. I wondered why they were called English sparrows. Were they brought over from England with the Pilgrims?

I saw a sticker on the guardrail advertising for firewood. I just moved what is left of my firewood from the winter into the garage for summer storage. The sticker got me thinking that I should figure out what I am going to do for firewood next winter. I need a woodshed because that will make it much easier for storage and I won't have to dig it out from under the snow. Sometimes it's tough to think about firewood in May.

Eventually the light turned green and I moved on from my spot. I took my left and continued on my commute. I'm glad I didn't pick up my phone and get lost in nothingness. Sometimes staring out the window is just fine.

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