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When Did I Stop Counting Planes?

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I poured my body on the grassy lawn at the pier today. A little tyke (we’ll call him Chance—my favorite name) was scrambling nearby with his young momma. Maybe Chance was a one-year-old or possibly a few months older. My guesstimation of a kid’s age is absolutely embarrassing.


I was focused on myself. Thinking through my week’s agenda. Stretching. Chance was not a huge interest to me at the time.


He couldn’t form recognizable words yet, but his body language and excitement catapulted his little arm up to the sky when he saw a plane fly through the cloud above. He was thrilled.


Chance caught my attention. My mind stopped whirling and focused on the boy. Then the plane. Back to the boy.


I had not heard the plane. I had not seen the plane. I had not even looked up into the sky that day until his little hand guided my eyes up in the air.


Why did it take a one-year-old boy to direct me? I used to find faces in the clouds repeatedly, and I would follow a plane’s trail with my eyes until it disappeared. When did I stop counting planes?


Four. I found four planes in the sky in the next moment. Well, a few were actually helicopters but you get the idea. I was scanning the sky like a meerkat. I started picking up the noise, too. I didn’t even need to see the planes to know they were near. How did I not hear those engines zooming by me minutes before?


Maybe it’s the chaos of the city. It could possibly be the massive amount of noise I consume every day. I’m not sure if I’ll hear the planes tomorrow, but either way, Chance brought clarity to my misdirected gaze today.

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