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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pay Attention--Installment 2

"Pay Attention"

It has become my most important New Year's resolution. And, (in deference to another one of my resolutions), I am taking pride in my accomplishments in regards to how much I have improved in this, as well as (resolution #3) remembering that baby steps are enough.  Having said all of that, though, I had quite an aha moment on my way to work this morning.  

How many of us take essentially the same route to work every day?  We drive down the same streets, turn at the same corners, going our merry way on autopilot because, after all, we see the same thing every day.  

Except we don't.  

Because each day,  the view is different...we only have to pay attention and notice the changes around us.  

There is a woman I see most days on my way to work.  She walks down the street pulling a red radio flyer.  In that wagon is a child.  Sunshine or rain, warm or cold--she carts her child to wherever it is that they are going.  In September, it was bright and sunny during my 7:30 a.m.commute, and the child sat tall in the wagon...thumb in mouth, eyes alert.  The woman was jaunty in running pants and a t-shirt, walking with purpose, but also with a relaxed and leisurely air.  Now, in the cold and dark mornings of January, the child is curled up in the wagon...bundled in a coat and blankets, sometimes with an umbrella propped over its head, seemingly trying to keep the morning and the cold away, with its eyes shut tight.  The woman wears her bright yellow rain slicker and wellies, moving quickly in what seems to be the hopes of staying warm, or at least reaching her destination as quickly as possible.  On the occasional morning that I do not see them, I notice their absence and wonder where they are.  

This morning, as I saw the pair moving quickly and with purpose down the street in the pouring rain, I wondered--before my recent revelations...before my new "awakening"...would I even have noticed these two?  Or would I have been so involved with planning my day, worrying and wondering, living inside my own head, that I would have driven past without ever seeing?  

Now, as I drive that "same" commute every morning, I do my best to look around, to notice, to pay attention.  I've already missed too many important things in my life. 

1 comment:

  1. I have a bunch of people like this in my life. I call them my "friends" even though I don't know if they would know me if they saw me out of context. For a little while I was on the same schedule as a woman and her adult son. We would cross the bridge at the same time going opposite directions, me on the bike, them walking single file. The woman is older, with a well groomed but fusty air. Her son is middle-aged and looks to have some intellectual disability. We always say hello when we cross paths.

    Running across these anonymous friends is a highlight of my day and makes me feel connected, even in the thick of our city.