One of my favorite walking routes is a black-topped path through a huge park not far from my house. The path is not a straight one; it gently winds in pleasant curves around the natural landscaping, helping to create an enjoyably scenic journey for those who wish to travel from one end of the park to the other.
On Monday, which was a gloriously beautiful fall day around here (before the gusty winds and coldness hit), Roxie and I headed out to walk there. The sun was shining, the tree branches full of yellow-to-orange-to-red (and some still green) leaves were gently swaying back and forth in the light breeze, and the sky was nearly cloudless, its bright blue color the stuff of perfect vacation pictures.
As we walked, I observed one of my favorite things: Roxie’s beagle ears taking flight as she trotted along in front of me. There’s something about those ears being carried by the wind that makes me giggle, and I started walking a little faster so she would follow suit, keeping those normally floppy ears afloat.
I adjusted my sunglasses and took a look at the world around me. It was a perfect moment: enjoying fabulous weather while getting a little exercise with my dog–along with the great tunes coming from my iPod, of course–made me feel so happy.
That’s when I decided to close my eyes.
Yes, I was still walking, and at a pretty good clip. I’ve walked this path hundreds of times, though, and in that moment, I wanted to just feel the warm breeze on my face as I let my feet carry me through the familiar.
Naturally I couldn’t keep my eyes closed for long: I’m not an idiot, you know. I walked along my path, closing my eyes on the straightaways and opening them in time to not trip and cause any untimely bone fractures as I went around the curves. When my eyes were closed, I could still “see” what was around me. I felt alive as I paid close attention to being able to feel the pavement (and not grass!) under my feet.
After a few minutes, I stopped closing my eyes and just kept them open, figuring that it was fun for a few minutes but with my luck, keeping up the practice would end badly in one way or another.
I go through life with my eyes wide open all the time. I’m extremely detail-oriented, I’m usually task-driven, and I ask lots of questions*. Every now and then though, I try not to be so rigid. My walk on Monday gave me a great physical representation of how lovely it can be to let go of the control just a little bit, even if only for a few seconds at a time. I’ll work on that.
*If you need verification, ask Jim about this one. When he is filling me in on something, I constantly come up with questions that he doesn’t have the answer to or didn’t think to ask about. (sorry, Hon.) It’s a curse and a blessing.
©2010 Suburban Scrawl