Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Walking in the Moment

One of the joys of settling into a community is knowing enough people to recognize and greet them on my walks. And on this 10,000 Steps program,I’ve been doing a lot of walking for the past two months, and a lot of meeting.

Instead of measuring walks by steps I should measure them by encounters with neighbors. Today’s walk was a five-neighbor walk, for example. I'm never quite sure whom I will meet, which is part of the fun of it.

Often neighbors who are driving will just pull over to say “hi.” They frequently offer me a lift, but I explain that I have to get my daily 10,000 steps in.

The other thing that has been happening on the walks is that I have been having these oxygenated thoughts. I guess that’s a good description. They are almost little epiphanies.

Today, as I passed a group of pre-schoolers on their way to play in Gabriel Park, I made a point of looking at their faces carefully, trying to imagine each of them as their parents must see them – cherished, wondrous beings.

Twenty children must have filed by me. Each so different and each utterly cherished.

As I passed a fellow walker talking on her cell phone, I also got into the reality of carrying my cell phone with me. I’ve resisted it and rarely use it. But recently I’ve accepted having it with me as part of what it means to be a 21st Century human being. The technology has changed who we are and how we relate to each other.

Isolation is a choice we now must make, no matter where we are.

A final ‘walking’ thought is related to a post ("Time that 'slips off the mind'") from a couple days ago. I had remarked how in our culture fixation on the future consumes the past, while in other cultures the indelible past destroys the future. It is worth adding that in yet other cultures the present – “the eternal now” – is so important, so much the focus of being, that the concepts of past and future vanish.

Seeing the faces of those children, really regarding them one-by-one as they passed me, was such an experience of the moment. A momentous experience.

Final note: This is the first post I have composed on my new Neo. More about that tomorrow.

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