Oh, the Places You’ll Go

“Out there things can happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew.
Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”  Dr. Seuss, Oh, the Places You’ll Go

I had to walk for almost an hour. And my three words for the day: Equanimity, positivity and open-mindedness.

You see, I live in the boondocks and unless you have a car, nearby civilization is at least 4 kilometers (in my head).  It took me 50 minutes. And I never walk. Couldn’t even run 1km.

Picture an enraged wife, fuming over someone’s negligence, rambling on an endless road. Because just to prove a point, that I was quite inconvenienced and my entire day’s plan ruined, I huffed and puffed and walked all 4 kilometers.

Yet. You can’t rant and rave or curse under your breath without an audience. You’re all alone stomping and there’s no one to watch the drama. And so you feel absolutely stupid. Add to that the backdrop of a forest (yes, there’s a forest where I live) and feathered friends. I was being serenaded.  Chirps, trills, a hoot, chirrup, and, the wind, in tandem with the leaves, was playing percussion.

And so the rage had to end. I was furious about someone’s indifference, and yet here I was mad at the world, oblivious to singing trees and a bird symphony.

There are a great deal of things that meet you when you walk for 4 kilometers. Especially when you’ve been carted off on wheels your entire life.

  • 200px-Oh,_the_Places_You'll_GoThose appendages you call legs are absolutely amazing. You suddenly notice how wonderfully it carries you, its throbs and twitches, and the thankful sigh of limbs long underutilized but for showing off a tan.
  • There’s beauty absolutely everywhere. Everything moves. Everything sings too. And I was blessed with a sunshade of clouds (it was about to rain but I’d like to think it held up for me). I saw sky blue overhead and not the gray stretch of endless road.
  • There was no gas to step on and hasten things. I was unhurried. Time slowed down its pace, strolled along.  Had my chariot been there to carry me, I would have been lost in thought, running after time, with 100 things to still do. But today, there was nothing to do but walk. And notice. So this was what leisurely felt like. And somehow, it is not about getting from place to place. There was something to do here. Right now. On this road.
  • I savored the in-betweens.  I welcomed the wait at the bank. It was the time of rest for aching legs. Any other day and I would have grumbled, restlessly moving back and forth, dying to do the next thing on the list.

And so here I am an hour later, contentedly munching on my burrito. When you’ve walked for miles with birds for company, everything is a treat.

Perhaps we should shush rage and take blunders (like people forgetting keys to the luxury chariot) as an opening for magic. 

Perhaps everything (blunders included) are just being in the scheme of things.  Trust the boo-boo. Otherwise, I’d never take that road. Nor would this piece ever be written.

Perhaps we should take heed of the roads we are on, even when they are long and lined with mulch. They can be filled with splendor, the kind that dances and sings.

Perhaps you could actually bid time to take it slow and grant you leisure.

Perhaps there are delightful things to do too between destinations. And life happens now.

Perhaps if you paid attention, trees do sing, birds do serenade, clouds will give you canopies and rains won’t fall until you reach safe ground.

Oh I would have really enjoyed a reason to flip out and be right when Mr. Dreamy returns home tonight, my keys in his hand. And yet now, I’d have to thank him for 3 Steiner exercises* and 4 kilometers of heavenly gifts. And I’m certain he will wonder what in heaven’s name happened because suddenly, all is well. (Despite an hour’s walk and tired feet.)

*Three Steiner Exercises:

Equanimity. Quiet reactive emotions.

Positivity. See the positive aspects of everything, and make the best out of every situation.

Open-mindedness. Be open to new experiences and ideas, never letting expectations based upon the past close your mind to the lessons of the moment

Title borrowed from Dr. Suess

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