Tonight, just now, was one of my most favorite times of day. Not just sunset; a particular type of sunset: A pre-storm, partly cloudy sunset. When everything seems a little bit lit from within. It feels like living on a movie set for a few minutes. Someone has turned a dial on the light board to juuuuuuust right. Just for a little while.
So I went for a walk. Purposefully not wearing headphones. Just a hoodie and a healthy amount of open-minded curiosity. “What’s up, neighborhood? On this 27th day of March, Year of Our Lord 2014? Got anything to show me today?”
Yes, said the neighborhood. Yes I do.
A cat eyes me from the darkness between parted curtains.
A light shines through a naked, narrow basement window.
An antique pair of ice skates hang on display beside a front door.
And the birds. All of the birds. More birds than people out on my block tonight. I have to wonder how far they flew to get here. How far they still have to go.
Feeling a lot of that tonight: wonder. Reminded just how rich and full of detail even my own day-to-day whereabouts can be, if I slow down enough to pay attention. On any given night, I might notice the cat or the light or the skates or the birds, but it felt good to try to notice them for once.
On an evening that’s so unnaturally bright, it’s hard not to feel naturally hopeful. This year in particular, the coming of spring has signaled a renewing of hope to me. An end to this shitty winter. (Even my psychiatrist described it with those exact words. You heard it here first, folks: This winter got a doctor’s note and the verdict is: SHITTY.) It’s nice to be reminded by the shifting seasons that nothing, nothing, nothing lasts forever. The good times pass, so enjoy them. The shitty times pass, too, so try not to let them grind you down.
I half-remember something my yoga teacher used to say: “Because I am so rarely there, the most exotic place on Earth is where I am right now.” Tonight I’m taking time to notice and appreciate exactly where I am, right now. I’m in my go-on-walks-alone-just-because-I-can season. My oh-yeah!-I-live-in-my-favorite-neighborhood-in-town season. My remembering-to-take-time-to-soak-it-up season.