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  • Writer's pictureAram Mitchell

the mind ponders

My friend Frank, who has come on pretty well all of the community walks I’ve organized this year, wrote this note after we shared the trail Tuesday evening with ten other beautiful souls:

The mind ponders what the heart already knows! I am learning about this as well as the connections I share with the people, places and wildlife I encounter on these Beauty Walks. I have taken to reading Mary Oliver, Wendell Berry and Robin Wall Kimmerer which are bringing back fond memories of wild strawberries, tree forts, farm ponds and the silence of a pine forest. I had almost forgotten those things that brought so much joy when I was young, innocent and unafraid. I am very thankful for this second chance and don't intend to waste it.

Frank’s offering struck me as profound. His words leave me wondering: What else do we almost forget when we fail to revisit the moments and rhythms that ground us? What else returns to us when we engage the rhythms that strengthen our capacity to connect with the stuff of our world?

Last night I put out the trash bag, the recycle bin, and the compost bucket. As I always do after managing our household waste from the week, on my way back inside, I paused. It’s my Thursday night practice to stop and look up and around, to breath deep taking in the whole of my little neighborhood and note how it’s situated at the edge of a big star-dusted canopy. To de-center myself for just a moment. To let my mind ponder what my heart already knows. To see if there is any note or sight or smell on the air that will recall for me a moment of peace, or of some other emotion. Deep breath in. Great big sigh. And a sense of content that my feet press the earth while my eyes scan the sky.

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