Driftless Grace Column: The Outlook — observing life

Grace Vosen, Contributor

“Fearsome” isn’t a word that people would use to describe me. But it fit the other day when a squirrel, attempting to perch outside my window, became paralyzed with fear by a glimpse of my giant’s face. Not long after, a mourning dove suffered a similar fate. Although I live on the second floor and at the same level as these denizens, I doubt they’ll ever accept me into their community.

Luckily, the same window provides a view of a human community. This feature is why I chose my apartment. I’m surrounded by sound and movement, even when life inside my building is quiet and still. While this might bother some of my more reclusive friends, I welcome it. There’s just enough activity to be interesting and not enough to annoy.

One pattern I’ve observed is that a lot of people spend a lot of time sitting in their cars. I’ll see someone arrive, then glance out again five or ten minutes later and find them still sitting there. They may just be scrolling on their phones or waiting to meet up with friends. But I like to think that a few of them are taking time to enjoy their surroundings — to really look at the place where they find themselves.

A view of Festge County Park in Cross Plains. Photo by Grace Vosen

I’m finding myself right where I want to be: in an area that has fascinated me for 15 years. What started as a family day trip destination grew to hold an almost spiritual significance for me. I looked forward to my visits here, which always left me feeling refreshed. Now I call this place home. In a time when so little is certain, I count myself extremely fortunate.

May you get to visit the places that inspire you this week. Be sure to take a moment to look around at where you are, and to observe the bounty that life brings even in difficult times.

 <em>Grace Vosen</em>
Grace Vosen

Grace Vosen is a writer and conservation educator living in Spring Green. She blogs about both the human and nonhuman communities of our region at DriftlessGrace.com.