Walk Like a Pigeon

May 30, 2011 | 23 comments

Get this: A pigeon cannot focus and walk at the same time. The bird can’t see when it moves, so it has to come to a complete stop in order to refocus.

I am a pigeon. I cannot focus if I’m racing through life. I need to slow down, to stop, in order to refocus and really see.

To live fully in the now, I need to build a pattern of stops into my daily walk.  

I need to live in the slow lane, if I want to live in the now.  I want to walk like a pigeon. 

I want to not only see the flowers, but linger long enough to smell them. I want to do more than witness the flags flapping on this Memorial Day; I want to stop long enough to intentionally hear them speak in wind.

I want to be right here, right now, to live in this moment, and to see God — Who is not only omnipresent, but Who is the ever-present I AM.  I must slow, so I can focus.

Memorial Day cemetery

“Time is a relentless river. It rages on, a respecter of no one. And this, this is the only way to slow time: When I fully enter time’s swift current, enter into the current moment with the weight of all my attention, I slow the torrent with the weight of me all here. I can slow the torrent by being all here.”

Ann Voskamp, in “One Thousand Gifts”

(Because life is sometimes a blur… Photos from our Memorial Day weekend, 2011. We have been taking things intentionally slow this weekend. That is, when we’re not on the go-cart. ~smile~)


Submitted as part of Michelle’s Hear it on Sunday series. On Sunday, our pastor spoke of the pigeon’s walk. It ruffled my feathers — in a good way. 🙂

by | May 30, 2011 | 23 comments

23 Comments

  1. Missie

    I never knew that…I am so like that too!

    Reply
  2. Judy Netten

    This was awesome. Yes, we need to slow down and smell the flowers. God Bless You

    Reply
  3. Gramma T

    It was a good one again wasn’t it? Just taking life a bit slower has been good for me lately too. Ditch hunting for those green stalks that we love has proven to be a memory for the boys and I this year. Much easier to receive a bunch from a neighbor, but the thrill is in the hunt!! And it takes a good eye, turning our heads and looking for the prize!! Kinda like life, look closely or we will miss the best things that are free for the taking. Moments with loved ones or asparagus in the tall grass, free for us if we take time.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Gramma T!

      Living in the now is a much better place than dwelling in the past or living for what’s-to-come. Now is here. I want to be completely HERE.

      Thanks for sharing, and I hope your hunt was productive. Love the May asparagus!

      Reply
  4. Michelle DeRusha

    I remember underlining those lines in Ann’s book; so much to learn in that one passage. I lived a bit more slowly than usual this long weekend, too — even took an hour nap this afternoon, and then had some friends and their kids over for a bbq — nothing fancy: hamburgers and hotdogs, watermelon, three-bean salad and brownies made from a box mix. But you know what? It was perfect.

    Thanks for linking up this lovely post, Jennifer. (and I never knew that about the pigeon!).

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Michelle!

      I’m glad you had a relaxing weekend. I love that God invented the afternoon nap. 🙂

      I appreciate your Monday linky. It really has helped me focus even more on what God is speaking to me on the Sunday previous.

      God bless!

      Reply
  5. Brandee

    Would you believe I’ve blogged about pigeons, before, too? Lots of lessons to learn from them. But your lesson was new to me. Thank you, and Happy Memorial Day! Great pictures!

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Brandee,

      I would love to read your pigeon post. Can you share a link here in the comment box? Who knew that we could learn so much for our feathered friends? 🙂

      Reply
  6. Ann Kroeker

    Well, you know I love this! 🙂

    We had the loveliest slow-down weekend with good friends at their log cabin in the woods.

    When we came home, we tilled the garden. So that sort of ended the idyllic setting part of the holiday, but we feel so refreshed.

    I’m a pigeon, too.

    Reply
  7. Sharon O

    Really good blog post … a great reminder for us all. To slow down and truly experience what life has for us if we open our eyes and ears and hearts to SEE HEAR and LISTEN to the quietness that whispers.

    Reply
  8. Diana Trautwein

    LOVED this post – and that was news to me about pigeons. I am a big-time bird-lover, though have never cared a whole lot for pigeons. (too many pesky ones swooping over my head, I guess). But that little factoid makes perfect sense and helps me to feel a teensy bit more connected to them. I, too, appreciate Michelle’s link for the same reasons – it helps me be more pigeon-like on Sunday mornings. :>)

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      I had the same response, Diana. Honestly, I’ve always thought that pigeons looked rather silly with this stopping motion, and with that crazy bobbing head. But maybe the world thinks we’re all a bit crazy, too, with our stopping and with our choosing the slow lane over the fast one?

      Thanks for your comment.

      Reply
  9. Shanda Oakley

    Loved this idea of walking like a pigeon! I actually wrote a post called Stopping in the Fast Lane. Similar idea. I definitely God has been calling me to slow down.
    Found you over at “Hear it on Sunday….”

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Nice to meet you, Shanda. I’ll check out your Fast Lane post. 🙂

      Reply
  10. Gordon Atkinson

    It’s not just us. No one can really focus while moving. Reminds me of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle in physics. (Not that I know ANYTHING about physics)

    But as I understand it, the idea is that you can measure the exact location of an object at a given time, but then you can’t measure it’s velocity and direction. Or you can measure it’s velocity and direction but then you can’t track its absolute position.

    We have to choose in this life. We can’t move and focus.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Thank you, Gordon. I know even less about physics than I do about pigeons. But what you’re saying makes sense — even to a slow learner like me.

      Reply
  11. Megan Willome

    Pigeons, huh? Hmm. I like that.

    The town we moved to 5 1/2 years ago has a strong military presence. It’s been a new experience for me, raised in a time/city where I never learned the Pledge of Allegiance.

    Reply
    • dukeslee

      Hi Megan … We don’t always attend our Memorial Day celebration at the cemetery, but it seemed right this year. We were home, for starters. Secondly, it was always very important to my father-in-law, a Vietnam veteran. It was bittersweet, standing in the cemetery where he once stood for the gun salute. He’s now buried there.

      Reply
  12. Charity Singleton

    I had a pigeon sort of weekend too. I just had loads of margin, time to stop and refocus. Work was hectic today, Wal-Mart was busy, my evening didn’t go as planned. But it didn’t matter so much. I had pigeon perspective!

    Reply
    • Sheila Lagrand

      Pigeon perspective.

      I can remember that. Now let’s see how well I can practice it. 🙂

      Reply
  13. Bradley J. Moore

    Hi Jennifer. Lovely, lovely thoughts here. I am here, right now, fully present.

    The only time we have is now. And yes, life is a blur, as your photo’s remind us. Thanks for the reminder of being here now.

    Reply
  14. Angie Vik

    I didn’t know that about pigeons. Love when I learn something new. Love all your pictures. My favorites are the girl smelling the flower and the soldier by the flags.

    Reply

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