Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Big View

(This picture was taken from the apex of my Castle Hill route.) When I want walking yesterday morning, I decided that no, it's not really about whether it's early or late (as mentioned in my last post), it's about the fact that I'm moving my body.

Once I got to the top of Castle Hill, I re-decided: no, it's not that either, it's about interrupting morning habits I've collected and strung together inside my apartment (not that they are necessarily "bad" habits, but they are habits and can dull my day).

When I got to the point on my walk where the view is greenest and best, I decided this is what it's about: The Big View. The kind of view required for my peace of mind.

And I have been getting this view on my recent walks--whether or not I'm standing looking out on East Mountain, or walking away from it. It's all of it: the moving, the getting out of my apartment, the old canopied trees. It's the dogs and the people and the houses and the neighborhood. It's saying good morning to people. It's watching people say good morning to each other. It's being there early enough to watch orange plastic-wrapped newspapers being tossed out of a jeep (people are still reading print news!).

All of this=the big view.

I'm not trying to put a pretty bow on all this and say how happy I am and ain't life amazing? It's not like that.

For a time, a long time unfortunately, I was a sad and unhappy person. Or maybe more accurately, I suffered a great deal. We've all suffered a great deal I suppose. But relative to my life now and my life then--a great deal was a great deal.

I couldn't *feel* the simple things. I couldn't watch my mood change from beginning of walk to end. Couldn't watch how over a period of a week, and many morning walks, my thinking was different. Couldn't enjoy the cool air. Didn't know what unadulterated delight felt like.

Nothing helped. Nothing worked. Until it did.

Now, on the other side of the small-view days, I enjoy a lot of things. Feel a lot of things. Notice a lot. And I think of where I grew up. Mostly here, on this plot of land where my parents built us a house:

Actual views like this one are so key to remembering what we're actually walking around on.

And that's what happens on my walks. I remember.

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