L.A. is a funny place when our major freeway and major streets are shut down simultaneously. Things can get a little nutty. And so it was yesterday. With the 405 closed for major construction and numerous surface streets closed for the triathlon, what’s an Angeleno to do?
Yup, take to the streets.
I walked everywhere yesterday…even in the 90-degree weather. I walked to coffee. I walked to the store. I walked to the gym. I walked to the museum. I walked to a garden. I walked to yet another store. You get the idea.
I didn’t meet up with anyone yesterday, so it was a day of solitude: just me, the streets, my feet and my (thankfully) mostly peaceful thoughts. And I sort of understood, for the first time in my life, what all those monks and mediation teachers mean when speaking about the benefits of ‘walking meditation.’ (I must admit, in the past I thought – how boring!)
In all-day walking, there is no rushing, you have to pace yourself. It’s going to take however long it takes. Period. There are no shortcuts or detours, because, obviously, you can only walk as fast as you walk. It is what it is.
If it takes you 40 minutes to walk to the store, then it’s going to take 40 minutes. There’s no way around it. That’s how long it takes. You’re at your own pace – just you and your strides – you have to have full acceptance of this, because you can’t blame traffic or some a-hole cutting you off for how long or short it takes you to arrive at your destination. It’s all about you – which may seem confronting, but it’s actually an exciting relief, if you think about it – not being dependant on anyone but yourself to get you to where you need to go. Whew!
Also, the motion of putting one foot in front of another – all day long – shows you that you really can’t cut steps out of life. In the car (and in life), we look for shortcuts and distractions. A quicker route, a lane with less traffic. You can’t do this on foot. There are no shortcuts. It’s just walking – so basic – but such a reminder that we are only ever going to get anywhere by putting one foot, one step, in front of the other. Love it or hate it, it’s the only way things are going to get done.
And in that moment, I was reminded that realizations will come when they come, and that the point of life (once again) is to stay OPEN, even when (especially when) you have no clue what is going on, or how, perhaps, you got off track. Stay open. It will become clear.
In that moment I looked up to the sky, and saw the word LOVE in bold letters (see photo above). Perfect. Then I thought, “that could never happen twice.” At which point (see photo below) the word was written in the sky a second time, just to drive the point home.
There is the divine in the most mundane. Spirit is only ever inside of us. Beautiful ‘exterior’ reminders supporting us along the way. Happy travels.