October 12th, 2003

abstract butterfly

the place my mind hikes

I thought to myself as I began my hike today on the Trinity Trail how I always hope that something remarkable will happen during my brief walks there. I frequently hope to see some interesting form of wildlife--a hawk, say, or a jaunty bobcat or coyote (I frequently settle for a hoppy bunny). I look forward to seeing abundant flowers in bloom, or a giant swallowtail butterfly hovering, or a great blue heron fishing in the lake. But then I thought about how an hour on a rural trail, thinking about my week, where I've been and where I hope to go, is a kind of miracle in itself--a real respite, a moment of life which seems somehow eternal. Everything becomes a need for an "experience"--a sight, a sound, a milestone. I think about walking longer hikes, or taking higher quality pictures, or otherwise experiencing something new and different. I don't criticize that need for the new and different--it's very human and perhaps the closest thing to adventurous that I cautiously approach. But sometimes it's nice to just "be" in a quiet moment. In law school, I discovered that although I like classical music, I truly love the way that a symphony sends me to places in deep thought. I use ambient much the same way today. Some horse riders rode by me today, and said what a nice day it was, and I said "it's a perfect day--for this". It was, indeed, a perfect day for this.