Things I notice on my walk this morning …
A young buck with budding antlers peeking up over the hedgerow from deep in Carpenter Woods, catching my eye and holding my gaze as I jog slowly by.
A very elderly couple with white, silvery hair, both lean and slightly bowed over. The woman wears a large straw hat, and the man carries a stick. She holds the leash of a very elderly black, graying, furry dog, probably a Chow. They both wait patiently while the dog struggles to walk slowly to the car looking as if she has arthritis in her knees.
Two large black beetles lying on their backs in the middle of the road – their legs struggling in the air as they try to roll over.
A young boy striding up the hill as I jog slowly down. For a moment his eyes meet mine but quickly he lowers them as he walks by.
A young man bare chested runs up the hill past me looking neither right nor left – straight ahead, panting loudly.
I notice the music in my earphones and sometimes sing along. I notice I am weeping through one of Annie Lennox's song as I think about abused children everywhere.
A robin bobs alongside me carrying a twig in his beak eyeing me cautiously, but keeping close by.
Small sparrows peck at the road and fly high into the trees when a car speeds past.
Dark clouds weigh heavy above the trees as I start up the hill, and when I turn the corner to come back around, the clouds part as the sun brightens the sky above the woods. Just at that moment Lavay Smith warbles "Blue Skies" in my ear, and I notice I am swaying from side to side as I almost skip along the roadside.
Sweat drips down from my forehead sliding past my eyes and into my lips as I jog down the hill. I notice my pace has fallen into a strong rhythm, and I feel excited because I will probably make the light crossing busy Lincoln Drive and the home stretch.
Almost there, I notice the sign at the large, old, impressive Unitarian Church building five minutes away from home. It reads that the greatest gift we can give one another is the purity of our attention. I think about that as I wonder what "pure attention" might mean for me. Wondering leads to rumination about people who have listened – I mean, really listened – to me in the past and I notice tear drops mix in with the sweat dripping down my face as I stride into our yard and up the road towards the back of our house.
A robin is bathing in the bird bath I filled with water just a few hours prior to setting out on my walk and a squirrel races up a tree as I arrive at the back door.
I sigh peacefully, contentedly as I turn the handle of the back door and enter the house. Ada calls sweetly from the top of the stairs as I climb up to the third floor to join her. She is sitting in her little bed next to my computer and begins to purr as I sit down to write my list.