A quiet day

Today I chose to be consciously aware of my surroundings when walking home from work, and I was pleasantly surprised. At lunch time, as I sauntered down Old Main Hill, I could smell the sweet pollen from the trees. The grass was green, almost too green, and the whir of bicycle tires against pavement surprised me as a cyclist raced toward the bottom.

I am lucky to live in such a beautiful world- and even luckier to live only two houses from the children's school. Every day when I walk home I get to see them playing their games with each other, calling out names, tagging each other, and hiding behind the trees in the park. Their shrill screams of joy and youthful laughter always put a smile on my face. Today, a group of girls had settled in the middle of the sidewalk with a bucket of chalk, and were plastering the walkway with the colors of their imaginations. "Teacher, look, I'm drawing a purple unicorn!" or "Teacher, this is a picture of my mom." I chuckled when I stepped around them, and a girl with big brown eyes looked up at me. I complimented her on the beautiful picture, and quickly she looked backed down and shyly thanked me. I wanted so badly to sit down next to them and draw my own picture and listen to their stories, but I had to walk on.

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After leaving work for the second time today, it was nice to feel the sun warming my bare skin. The low rumble of vehicles on 4th North was distracting, but as I reached the canopy of trees lining the Quad, everything unwanted seemed to fade. I heard birds twittering, crickets chirping, and wind rustling the young leaves. The pattern of sunshine on the sidewalk reminded me of hopscotch, and the stone bench beckoned me to sit and ponder. And so I did. A red breasted, black flecked Robin pranced around my feet, and the squirrels called to each other. A happy couple strolled through the grass without shoes, and a young mother with her infant ran in circles.

I felt inspired. Beauty truly surrounds me if I just open my eyes and look. I walked home barefoot tonight, and the sensations were interesting. The sidewalk on campus is smooth, almost soft. The stairs leading me down the hill toward home were spaced evenly, and I sat down to take my last deep breath of the fragrant trees for the night. As I stood up, I realized my feet were wet, and clean, from the sprinkler leak next to me. I reached the pavement at the bottom of the stairs, and crossed the street, still bare footed. The black top seared my soles, and the smell pebbles buried in tar were like a prickly massage. The white lines designating the cross walk were cool compared to the black asphalt, and smooth like the cement at school. After crossing, I stepped off into the grass and it was heaven! The short blades of grass tickled my toes, and the moist dirt cradled my feet.

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