This week I’ve been thinking about and engaging in small journeys. Starting Monday, I did a 4-day meditation workshop — just an hour a day, but at 7:30AM. In the morning. Anyone who knows me even a little is aware of the magnitude of that feat.
I’ve meditated off and on for decades, and am using the occasion of this pandemic and social uprising time to restart a daily practice. Doing something daily is a commitment, and starting small is everyone’s advice. Small can be powerful, especially when it’s repeated over time.
I never agreed with the idea that familiarity breeds contempt—I mean, who thinks that’s true? Hmmphf. On the contrary, familiarity for me breeds concentration, security, and the leisure to be creative with what one knows well.
Which gets me to this post I wrote in 2016. I was extolling the virtues of non-gob-smacking nature, which we can find around us in our own neighborhoods. I still believe it, and appreciate the capacity to relax into the familiar and down-home pleasures of other people’s summer gardens, local parks, nature trails that are open, and water of any kind.
I hope you are able to get out into small and nearby nature. If you have, I’d love to hear about it in the comments.
A few weeks ago, I posted about my trip to the southwest with my sister and her kids. We went to the Grand Canyon and other national and state parks of incredible dramatic beauty. When I returned, still basking in the rosy glow of national park infatuation, I watched documentary filmmaker Ken Burns‘ 6-part series called The National Parks, about the history and politics of the development of the US national park system. It was 12 hours long, and while not constantly riveting or suspenseful, it did leave me entranced and enthusiastic about visiting more nature up close.
Then I saw Samantha’s Facebook post this week about Algonquin Provincial Park, where there are lots of cycling options for all ages, abilities, and preferences. In addition, you can hike, swim, and paddle, too. Here’s a blissful scene from their website:
Lovely, isn’t it?
Then on Friday, I went out…
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