I love my morning walks, but I particularly enjoy them on Sundays. As I was pulling myself and the dog together to head out, I had the thought that the sky was looking like rain might be on the way. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the next, more useful thought, which was that maybe I should put on a rain jacket. Within five minutes a lovely spring mist began to fall. This soon turned into a brief downpour, which lasted only long enough to get me pretty soaked.
I soldiered on though, earbuds in place, listening to an interesting podcast. I take the exact same two mile walk every morning. I have often thought that if I went totally blind, I would be able to make this trek without incident. Today, as I rounded a familiar corner near this little marsh, I began to hear this high pitched noise, that sounded almost like an alarm. Out came my earbuds and I realized it was what had to be hundreds of birds talking all at the same time. I had never heard this particular pitch and intensity before so it caused me to stop to see what I could find. Not a bird in (my) sight! How could this be? What else is out there that is not in my field of vision?
I decided that for the remainder of the walk I would let the podcast wait and pay closer attention to everything I was seeing and hearing – sort of turning it into a walking meditation, where I wouldn’t focus too long on any one thing but rather notice and then let it pass. I was reasonably successful at doing that, but did have to stop to snap a photo of a few things that were just too delightful to not linger a bit longer on.
A solitary daffodil, bravely believing it is OK to bloom!
Year round Christmas lights! Have these been up since the holidays???
What I realized as I made my way up the driveway was that I was experiencing a sense of calm and gratitude that is uncommon for me when I am plugged into my phone, listening to the morning news or some NPR show. Don’t get me wrong, I love being connected and learning, but what I realized was that I was ‘tuning out’ the world around me in this moment. This is an important observation for me, especially because I am working hard to be in the here and now more often. I know that I am wherever my mind is and I want to be able to give those I engage with the the gift that is yearned for by all of us – to be seen and heard.