Engaged in any activity _ even a simple stroll _ I tend to concentrate on one sense at a time, which is usually vision. The world is so rich I cannot possibly notice everything, and I am amazed by what is constantly before me. And yet, sometimes, I need to force myself to be aware of my other capabilities _ the feel of my legs or gut; the sounds all around me whether traffic, boats, or birds; the touch of the wind or sweat; and the scents in the air. I find that forcing myself to stop for a short time _ even only ten seconds _ can bring a whole new depth to the universe.
Honeysuckle is in full and magnificent bloom, and its perfume is strong and completely tuned to the seasons. It evokes memories of childhood and vacation, and the fact that it will soon be gone for another year adds poignancy to the experience.
In a way it’s subversive. Just walking and appreciating for a few hours puts no money in circulation, doesn’t save nor even change anything, has no effect on the many problems of the world nor at least physically on my own. I’d like to believe it helps me have a low planetary footprint _ but of course in this culture that is a lie _ I have already used electricity and gas and water when I woke up, already ate food grown and transported and sold by others, even now wear clothing and shoes and glasses supplied from the far corners of the Earth. Being righteously independent is an illusion we can hardly afford.
But for a while I simply feel close to the universe, and can hardly express my thanks for the miracle of being able to experience existence so deeply. An elder, I tell myself, has already done his part and can fade away graciously, doing as little harm as possible. Or, maybe, I am just lazy.–
I live up a hill about a block from West Shore Road along the harbor, and I usually walk about two miles every morning. It is about a mile to the head of harbor, and about three to the other side in Wyncoma. Away from the harbor, the Huntington center and its parks is two miles away. Any of these, within walking distance, are proper foci for my notes and photos.
The goal is to post pictures and daily notions within a week of encountering and writing them, and only from the places I normally reach on foot. On occasion, I may cheat for a picture by driving somewhere I normally walk because of injury or weather. This simple circumference gives me an infinite and bottomless opportunity for my contemplations.