Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sabbatical Sunday—Take off the blinders

Some weeks, like this one, I feel like I'm walking around with blinders on. My gaze narrows down to what's right in front of me, and my neck becomes rigid with effort, my breathing shallow. Since much of my work takes place on screens these days, this gaze gets narrower and narrower, so even when I'm not in front of the screen, I feel cut off from the wider world that surrounds me—head down, just plowing through. 


Abbe kept reminding me, though. She looked at me balefully, whined and sighed. She put her head on her paws and looked up at me through her lashes. I kept trying to mollify her, said, yes, we'll take a good walk, I promise. The word walk perked up her ears; the word promise drooped them again, since promises—in this house—so often are not kept. 


But this time I was good to my word; it just took me a while. Yesterday—one of those sunny February days that convinces you winter has fled—I put on my walking shoes, put Abbe in the car, and drove to Hovander park, 15 minutes north of Bellingham. Here Abbe can run off leash, and I can look up to remember where I am. 




This is where I am. And this is what I can remember, even when my life seems to close in, to become dim and gritty. I can take off the blinders anytime I want (they're not glued to my head, after all, and I'm the one who put them there in the first place!)

(photo by Nancy Canyon)

This is what Abbe looks like at Hovander Park, one of her favorite places in the world. She smiles with her whole body. Her coat gleams. She stands on the trail, head up, nose sniffing the air, then gallops across the field in pursuit of something invisible. 

There's always the siren call of the to-do list, the whine of the oppressed self who chooses crankiness over walking shoes, depression over a breath of fresh air. But for me, everything really can change in an instant, with that slight nod of the head toward the sky. 




10 comments:

  1. such a good reminder. thank you for this. (especially about being in front of screens--I need to figure out a way to gladly put them away for a good period of time every day.)

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    1. Thank you Lisa! I'm enjoying your blog too.

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  2. Nice post! I was out and about yesterday, taking in the scenery around me. You are right about getting that narrow focus locked on the screen. Watched and filmed the snowgeese in flight, which took my breath away!

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    1. Hi Laurie! Glad you got out and about. Would love to see that footage of the snow geese; you should start a video blog!

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  3. Thank you thank you thank you. This is a lovely reminder that life is happening all around us, and it's important not to miss it.

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    1. Thank you Erin. Every Saturday I wake up and think, "wait, I haven't had my Inspired Friday yet..." and I run to your blog to give me a moment.

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  4. I really need to go on a walk where I can take a moment to let go of everything. Especially since it is so beautiful in this part of the world!

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  5. I wish I could drag myself out of bed in the morning to do productive things. (like running! or simply breathing outside air). The new afternoon/evening class schedule I have is maddening on sunny days like we've been having.
    Then, I get frustrated with myself for being such a slug, and take it out on my poor roommate by never coming home and locking myself in the library...away from the sun. =/
    I wish I could find some sort of balance between studying and...other things.
    -Ashley

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  6. It's always tricky, finding balance, and I fail at it just about this point of the quarter every time!

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What say you?