Today I made space for a walk. The weather has been unseasonably warm and beautiful here in Ohio, so I’ve been trying to get outside when I can before the sun goes down at (cough, eyes diverted) 5:30 PM!
I walked my neighborhood a lot last spring, summer, and this fall. So, I have certain things that I look forward to seeing when I’m walking. The trees have been especially gorgeous this autumn, changing from green to beautiful hues of gold, amber, and red.
Today, I looked for some of my favorite trees and found that many of the leaves had fallen. While this should not have surprised me, I found myself feeling sad. With so many things taken from us this year, I hadn’t realized how tightly I was holding onto some of the “small” fleeting joys like fall leaves.
On the verge of tears, I continued on my walk and spent some time thinking about how this might be my last walk before winter temperatures creep in. And then, I happened to look to my right where I saw a young couple sitting on a rock ledge, overlooking the city, arms wrapped around each other and a pup seated between them.
Yes, the leaves were falling. And yet, before my very eyes, people were quit literally holding each other up. And that made me smile.
As I made my way past a reflection pool, I thought about how the water will soon be drained for the next few months but then I thought, “No, today I got to see the water sparkle in the sunlight. I will choose to focus on that.”
I don’t want to miss the good that is currently in my life because I’m living outside of the present moment, fretting about what was or what will be.
I want to enjoy life’s little pleasures. The distinct aroma of my freshly brewed coffee, the vibrant colors of the fall leaves, the way the sun hits pools of water, the feel of my cat’s fur on my arm as I write this.
I’ve found myself thinking that the autumn leaves were more beautiful this year. But I don’t think that’s true. I think I’ve slowed down and noticed. It wasn’t the trees that were different. It was me. It was me that was different. And I like that part of me right now.
That kind of mindfulnessness is something I’ve gained in 2020. Perhaps studying the colors of trees will bring me closer to being able to study the expression on people’s faces.
What if my ability to feel, listen, and learn has been strengthened during this time? What if?
If nothing else, it’s a beautiful thought, and we could all use a few more beautiful thoughts right now.
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