I think awhile back I posted about the virtues of running on a treadmill, how running and getting nowhere is a meditation I enjoy. Treadmills aren't something I make room for in my life right now, but I do go on walks most days of the week. In particular, there's a road near my house that makes about a 45 minute loop. I don't know how many times I've walked it over the years. There's nothing special about it really, after you get past the dogs it's mostly quiet with a smattering of houses and stretches of woods.
This week as I walked the loop I thought of the value of walking the same stretch year after year. I'm always trying to peer into the foggy future to see what I should be doing next; trying to define the subtle edges of discontent. But when I go on this loop I find myself comforted by its predictability. I know what to expect season to season: where the watermelon berries are in the summer, where the last patches of ice are in the spring, how in late summer the fireweed blaze everywhere. Last week it was still mostly snow, this week the road has melted back to dirt. Do you know how good a dirt road smells after a long winter?
I wish everyone a nice circle to walk in. Maybe where you live it is a block or a neighborhood or a park, but wherever it is I hope it brings you into the ever present. Where you can watch the seasons pass, and, where for a moment put aside whatever discontent you have to be a little more connected with the vital life source that surrounds you.