Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Life lessons from a walk.

I do a lot of walking these days and I'm very lucky that I live where I do because it's hard to imagine a more picturesque town to go walking around in than Heidelberg; there's a reason why this is one of the top tourist destinations in all of Europe after all. Those of you who have been here know exactly what I'm talking about. If you've never been here, there's a ton of videos of Heidelberg on Youtube and an endless number of pictures online.

Last week I was doing my usual walk and I was striding along and my total focus was on people I was passing or looking down at the sidewalk to avoid dog crap when suddenly I happened to look up and the view of the Altstadt from across the river with the huge castle overlooking everything just hit me hard. It was a view that I've seen hundreds of times but it still gave me pause at how beautiful it was.

In that moment, what occurred to me was that I was so concentrated on my walk and focusing so intently on watching the ground 3 feet in front of me to avoid stepping on dog crap or tripping over something that I almost missed the real beauty that I was surrounded by. It was there, all I had to do was look up to see it and enjoy it.

And so it is in real life. So often we muddle through our days so focused on what is right in front of us that we never take the time to look up and see the beauty around us.

My walks are a lot more enjoyable now.


stormblade said...

Amen brother! I have experienced exactly what you described (on more than one occasion). Most of the time we are thinking too much and not taking the time to open the other senses to what is out there. You are right on the money with the beauty of Heidelberg, it was great to have experienced some of that for myself.

Anonymous said...

That's what I've been noticing too! We sometimes have so much 'mental clutter' we can't appreciate all the beauty surrounding us! Heard it's snowing over there? Stay safe!