Mirror

My favorite reflections are water based even as I fully realize below the surface, life isn’t calm and still. Maybe it’s time to dive under and look back up, see the reflection from a different angle. Would a water’s eye view make me reconsider the beauty already around me?

Paths

Brilliant green branches gestured toward the light, as if to usher up the path softened by fallen pine needles. A vague worry about the tree in the middle of the path is muted by curiosity about what is beyond. Yet when you arrive at the middle, with distance from the start and to the light muddled by pine straw, a polite sign invites you to choose a side: adventure on the left, amazement on the right.

The choice, it seems, is yours.

Beyond safe harbor

For the first four weeks of stay home/stay healthy (for me) Easter stood as a beacon of normalcy. We did attend Mass (on the computer), there was ham on the table. We gathered with family on Zoom (something which we’d never have done without an order to stay home). In all it was an Easter to remember with a smile.

Now the beacon is behind us. I feel like we’ve gone past all the harbor markings into a wide ocean without a plan.

Time to double down and stay the course.

Spireline

Quiet spires just after dawn this Easter Sunday. It wasn’t until we tuned in to watch Easter mass on the computer – instead of watching from the choir loft – that the quiet finally sank into my soul.

I read a great comparison of this Easter to that first Easter: the disquiet, the uncertainty, the fear. We are encouraged to look to the empty tomb and fill our heart with the power of the day.

Faith. I think I look for it in every early morning walk. To fill the soul and bask in the light.

Taking direction

I headed out, mindlessly choosing the simplest direction: south on the alley. I noticed a chalk circle at the end of our part of the alley. Paused, wondered, went on. Then saw this arrow and figured I was heading in the right direction.

Up the road

Walking in the middle of the street is my new normal. It’s the best way to avoid any awkward pas de deux with walkers heading toward me. I’m now familiar with the sensation of spying someone up ahead, guesstimating when I should detour to the street as the distance closes, then feeling mildly guilty when they move first.

Covidetours. Another reason to second guess.

This view caught me as the sun broke out through the clouds, the crest of the hill was nearly in reach. Who knows what lies beyond the crest?

Pretty much a parable for this week. Who knows?

Local water

This little lake reminds me of the duck pond in South Orange, New Jersey town where I spent my second decade. Ten years during which most of my travel was by foot. Passing the Pond was part of the trek to school, to dance class, to the community pool. I rarely looked up, paused or even really saw the pond — unless it was frozen and ice skating was allowed.

Now, nearly four decades beyond, I’m back to walking by what I call a pond, the locals call a lake. But this time I take stock, take a photo and lay the imprint of the new over the old and am happy with the result.

Benches

The streets in Frederick are quiet during these stay home/stay healthy days. As I normally walk early, quiet streets are just par for the regular course.

But benches, oh, the benches — they call to me. For a photo? For a foreground to spring blooms that are really the show? Or am I curious about doing something tinged with the thinnest salty rim of forbidden: sitting down in public. This bench basked in the earliest morning sun, just after the light cleared the horizon. I imagined sitting there, enveloped by the light from top to bottom, back to front.

Then thought the better of it. For who would like to wake up on a Monday with a stranger sitting directly in front of their house (or across the street, or next door)?

It’s not my natural inclination to sit on benches in the park or along the creek. Walks are single purpose: get out and get back. I’ll glance around, maybe look a little more closely at a reflection, pay attention to safety, check the minute changes to the scenery and save images to my phone for later use.

Sitting, lingering in a spot to gaze off into the middle distance is reserved for the beach, never for home. Home is the place to pay homage to the schedule, the beach is the place to shed it. Yet, in this stay-home time, schedule feels like a frivolous word. Oh, I make up one in the morning, follow along a bit haphazardly through the day, dancing along to the faint tune in the back of my head “why does it matter, tomorrow will be the same.”

I go out for walks — shortened to respect the demand to stay home — and feel tempted to pause, to sit. Even as I know when the stay home time is lifted, I’ll be more inclined to visit friends, walk with them, sit in their homes or places of business in communion with the relief of being out. Being about.

For now though, the benches call out a siren song to pause. I hope I’m still listening when the time comes to sit down and look around.

#The100dayproject

Choosing something to do/make/see for the 2020 #100dayproject loomed over my head for weeks, smirking at my dithering and subsequent inaction. In 2019 I took 100 photos with my “big” camera instead of the smartphone permanently attached to my hand.

Capturing rain
Capturing reflections of light
Capturing flow

It was fun, but taking photos again seemed like a cop out to creativity. And with the current state of the at-home world, taking photos inside doesn’t have the same appeal. I go for short walks to maintain sanity, but it’s not the kind of meander where you can stand and ponder a view for a while.

Then I thought about this space, how empty it is, how I pick it up and drop it down at the slightest whiff of Eau de Work. Time to apply a habit to it.

Tomorrow starts the #100day project. For the next 100 days I’ll post a photo and words. We’ll see where we’re at on July 15.