My car has been in the repair shop for the past 24 hours so public transportation is my way to get home for awhile.
When I got off the Metro last night, I decided to do without riding the bus and instead walk the rest of the way home.
It’s a little over a mile from the Metro stop to my home but it was a warm evening and I wasn’t in a hurry and I thought the walk would be good for me after sitting at a desk most of the day.
Right away it felt good to move and to stay in the moment. Pushing my body forward, swinging my arms a bit and just breathing in the evening air; taking in the remains of September’s sunlight and the activities of the day. I’m thankful for my good health and know that I shouldn’t take it for granted. I remind myself that it’s another reason to walk.
There was something magical about breaking with my regular routine. It felt refreshing. I wasn’t in my car. I was walking outside and I had opened myself up to the experience of slowly letting my mind drift and observing nature instead of rushing home and cruising by neighborhood with the radio on.
With each step, I emptied my mind of the stress of the day. Just letting my eyes and ears take in whatever was around me for the time that I was there.
Once I turned off the main road, I heard the sounds of a neighborhood baseball practice, the thwack of a ball being caught in a leather glove, the sharp call of balls and strikes and the sliding sounds of shoes in the dirt. A father and son walking towards me on the sidewalk, talking to each other in low conversation; the son bouncing a basketball and the father glancing at the son as though trying to reconcile that yes his son is old enough that they are going to play a quick game together.
Flowers. Bright yellow chrysanthemums in bright blue pots. Berries as purple as eggplants hanging from an overgrown shrub. The tubular flowers of lavender blooming with its soothing scents and bees flying through the stems in search of nectar.
A young mother pushing a stroller. Neighbors calling out to each other, asking how things are going. Children giggling as they ride their bicycles around the house one last time for the evening, knowing that their father is waiting on the steps of the house for them to come indoors.
Walking by houses and wondering what goes on. Taking note of decorations and landscaping. Imagining their evening routines and hoping they are loving.
Using my breath, I take a few deep ones as I climb a hill getting closer to my own house. Step by step, I breath and continue to wind down from the momentum of the day.
Small, seemingly inconsequential things are the makings of my walk home. There are good things in my life and I bet there good things happening in yours too.
We only need to take the time to briefly stop, observe, drink it in and feel grateful.