There’s a great scene in “Howard’s End” where Leonard Bast is explaining his absence. Everyone wants to know where he’s been. People have come calling. His wife was even worried when he didn’t come home. And his reply? “I just went walking….” I understand that.
I’ve always felt a kindred with Leonard whenever I read that book. Great advice ruined his life (that was then), and when life got sour, he wanted only to take his “romantic ambition” to be a better man and rise above, to make a place for himself. To GIVE something of himself to the world (and that is now). He spent his day dreams at his desk, surrounded by spring, life blossoming again and again, beautiful dreams that were envisioned among the trees, the gleaming trees.
And so I went walking. Just stood up from this desk and walked out my front door this morning and went walking. Down cobblestone streets, bordered by a picket fence, green hues in the grass heaving with a need to breathe, to wake up and brighten. Birds called from afar, a pleasant charming salute, and near me the squirrels darted past to grab their cache of acorns. I wandered lanes whose names I can no longer remember, caught sight of mariposa, bougainvilleas, and palm all steadily demanding respect for the early blooms and frawns. The air rested, was alive with stillness, no breeze to hinder the scent of jasmine freshly brushing itself into life. The air was thick….. and I exhaled…..I connected.
I was alive.
I am alive.
No matter what may come, and what may happen, I am alive and connected to this beautiful world now.
These battered boots that stepped the streets remembered that all things flow in beautiful rhythms: was, is, will be. You can experience the majesty in life now if you wish….or you can dream about things could be better, how life might be better if something, someone, someplace was different. If you had lived life differently, if you were someone else, if anything and everything at all about you was different.
But, none of that may happen. This is life. This is where it is. You can spend it in a manner of dispute that rips and shreds…..or you can just go walking one day, walking “right out of London” and feel the stream’s cool mist, or the fern’s feathery brush against your shin, or the damp soil beneath your tread soften as you wander with eyes towards the cracking twigs beneath your stead.
I don’t know if life was intended for what may happen, or rather for what is happening now. If all of our movements and actions were intended for what may come, or what is….
Let’s enjoy life now. No time limits of short or long. No demands on the timelines of your existence. Stroll quietly, shortly through life with what you have in your view.
“Ankle deep, he waded through the blue-bells….”