Is today a good time for a walk where you live? If not, how about taking a virtual walk with me?
Wild, sometimes, the memories that surface.
You step out the door
and before you know it . . .
you’re a hatless kid again, let loose in the meadow, stalking ladybugs, moths and monarchs. In spongy-new tennies, you inch past milkweeds and burdock, dandelions and Queen Anne’s lace.
If you relished this mid-century childhood freedom like I did, half the fun was being outside on your own, green grapes in a pocket, traveling with or without a net for butterflies (made with a coat hanger and cheesecloth). Remember? Let’s go!
Exploring. Staring at clouds.
Sitting on our haunches to flip over a bug with a stick.
Whistling on grass blades, inhaling May.
Walking without a net today, I take these pictures along the path and wonder (maybe you do, too):
Why do I always prefer a safety net?
I don’t like living without a net to catch me. Before I can plumb this fear, I see the wild shooting stars: tall and delicate with wind tunnel petals. Their centers are dark, beaky snouts.
Their name alone reminds me to watch for surprises.
“If you search for the little bursts of surprise in your life,” writes Margaret Moore, “you create an entire mind-set change—exactly what the adventurer needs.”*
I’m not very adventurous. But I’d like to be.
Streamline this soul today
like a badminton birdie,
ready to rise . . .
“Finding novel sensations in the everyday hits a mental reset button,” says Todd Kashdan, PhD.**
And you—what of your rushed
and useful life? Imagine setting it all down—
papers, plans, appointments, everything—
leaving only a note: “gone
to the fields to be lovely. Be back
when I’m through with blooming.”
—Lynn Ungar, “Camas Lilies”
This is my year to delight more in life—without a net of some kind to reassure me I’ll be okay. Sometimes I question my motives. I take heart from the following quote:
“An adventurous person will always have moments of feeling like a fraud—it’s a sign that you’re creating new roles for yourself, that you’re evolving. It means you’re doing great, passionate work (Kashdan).”
So today, if we feel more like a wheel done rolling . . .
Larkspur, you remind us to keep seeking
the company of those who are still blooming,
as if knowing some days we feel
irrelevant, relegated to rust.
Or is it field art?
TAKING IT FURTHER:
Amble somewhere this week. Make this outing non-aerobic. Non-wired. A slow roam without a net, soul mesh open to receive surprise. What along the speaks to you? How might this change the way you live?
*Margaret Moore, MacLean/Harvard Institute of Coaching, as quoted in O, June 2010, p. 141.
**Todd Kashdan, PhD, author of Curious?
“Camas Lilies,” Lynn Ungar, Bread and Other Miracles