I’ve been in a bit of a fog recently and I feel like I woke up from it while I was walking home from work today. As I crossed the Market Street Bridge, I looked around and was surprised to see that there were lots of other people around me. Walking down the sidewalk. Talking with friends. Asking for change. Somehow, I’ve been feeling like I’ve been all alone lately, and in that state of loneliness, I wasn’t registering that I live in a sea of humanity. That I am surrounded by people who eat, breath, talk, sleep, love and engage. I had stopped noticing the life around me, which for me is strange, being that I am normally the one who pays attention.
I was struck by all this as I started down the path that connects the Market Street Bridge with the Chestnut Street one. Half way down the path, the cry of a seagull caught my ear and I turned my body towards the river. I stood there, watching five seagulls weave back and forth in the air space between the two bridges for several minutes. At one point, it appeared that they were playing follow the leader, as they formed an undulating line just above and to the side of the path’s handrail. It almost seemed as if they were a team of syncronized flyers, practicing for a show.
After all this team work and togetherness, they suddenly scattered, going off in difference directions, abandoning their cohesion for chaos. Rehearsal was over, I guessed. I sighed, having appreciated their beauty and feeling slightly jealous of their ability to fly, and continued home. I was grateful for the psychic shaking I had had moments before, so that I was awake and aware enough to notice the birds and watch their performance.