Peaceful Field at Sunset

Yesterday was gorgeous here in Middle Tennessee: Abundant sunshine, highs in the 70s, and a gentle breeze. I took my dog Albus for a long walk in the morning up my street, and couldn’t believe the beauty that surrounded me.

There was one annoying factor to our walk, however, and that was cars. A different car came down the street every 30 seconds, or so it seemed. That meant lots of interruptions to the relaxing walk, ensuring that Albus and I were out of harm’s way (we don’t have sidewalks). At least one driver was playing on her phone or something, because she had to swerve away from us at the last minute.

I took note of the contrast between the beautiful, peaceful day, and the constantly passing cars. And I remembered that we live with paradox.

The mindful, conscious life does not free us from distractions or problems, but it involves cultivating a practice that enables an enduring inner strength in spite of these challenges and, perhaps, because of these challenges. Cars will continue to speed by, conflicts with other people will inevitably arise, and financial difficulties will emerge from time to time.

But it doesn’t mean we can’t continue to walk, with joy and with those whom we love.