Every time I change my route, my timing – and alter what I see, if only in a small way, I see so much more. Some days I walk a familiar route in reverse. Suddenly everything looks different. It isn’t, of course, but it seems different – and that inspires me to see things differently. Try it. You might like it. Or, you might not, in which case you can go back to the way you were, but you won’t.
Anything we’ve done cannot be undone.
Anywhere we’ve been cannot be un-been.
Anyone we’ve known cannot be unknown.
We are where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and who we’ve known.
If we went back, or backward, it would all be the same, but it would look different.
Little changes can be massive, given time and perspective.
Not a lot, but a little increment every day seems like such a good idea.
It worked for that trickle of water that made the Grand Canyon, it just took a long time of tiny daily increments.
As simple as ‘one more sit-up’ each day, a few more blocks walking each morning – easy to do, but it’s more than a bit more because it’s a bit different.
Case in point – the other day walking. Expanding my route to increase time and distance, to push myself a little more – not a lot in terms of time or distance. But a lot in terms of a change of scenery, an alternate range of stimuli.
I was walking near a large property behind St. Mary’s College – a series of buildings associated with eldercare. Then on the route back, I passed by two other similar buildings, no doubt congregated that way by intention, from the Area Structure Plan and zoning officials putting lines on paper at some point.
There, several acres of well-manicured grounds, bathed in sunshine, with nobody about – it was early.
I saw a long-eared alert rabbit zigging, zagging, and stopping – his ears rising like antennae as it rose up to scan its field of view, then zagging again. He was wary, as well he should have been. It was tacking into the wind, so it had no scent of what was coming along behind. Coyote, loping along artfully, staying low to the ground, in tactical pursuit.
The rabbit got away. The coyote looked well nourished, no doubt keeping the rabbit population in check. I enjoyed this little drama – I was the only viewer. I got an occasional glance from the coyote, but I don’t believe he saw me as a threat.
I wondered, as I walked on whether the residents there were living actively, if I am, or whether the sign is best suited to that rabbit and coyote equation.
Sadly, many people across our country in various forms of senior housing, assisted living, and ‘memory care’ facilities are living scared right now – many sequestered to stay safe from a virus and from each other.
Trying times indeed.
Trying times for the rabbit, but not so much for the coyote.
I’m reminded of that phrase so many of us (in better times!) would often recite, our explanation of why we were happy to not have salaried jobs, “because we eat what we kill” – so I can relate to that coyote’s stealth, and just across the street are warehoused folks not much older than me who are doing the opposite of active living.
The coyote has it right.
So the next day, that was yesterday, I had to take the same route – to see if the coyote was there again. I was walking an hour later, so I wondered if the time of day might be wrong, or whether the robust activity of joggers and cyclists might have scattered rabbits and the coyote.
The coyote was there, hanging out closer to one of the buildings – in the shade, and rabbits were around, apparently oblivious to their predator nearby.
And across the street, unchanged, were those buildings labeled active living.