a walk to calm the mind

Concentric circles radiated outward across the water’s surface, each one born of a single drop of rain. I could have easily stared for hours, the quiet moments punctuated by the rattling cry of a kingfisher racing at low altitude back and forth above this portion of the stream. But instead I moved on, muddled thoughts swirling in my head as my eyes struggled to extract the beauty from a natural scene blighted by humanity’s grotesque reminders: the ubiquitous plastic bags hanging like profane ornaments in the branches along the stream’s banks, the silver hubcap gleaming obtrusively in the bushes, the child’s beach ball bobbling in a section of rapids. I thought, I could clean it up, spend hours of my free time picking trash from the water and the surrounding bushes and trees. But I know it would be a fruitless never-ending task. Instead I entered the arboretum and stood listening to the chickadees, cardinals, and robins as they no doubt discussed the weather. I walked around, read the signs, checked out the aqueduct system and the rain barrels. I left then and began to climb the hill. As I climbed, I noticed some early spring bulbs poking their heads bravely out of the soil. A few daffodils have even bloomed, splashing surprising color here and there across a still mostly dull brown background. Last week in Texas, it was shocking to see so many trees budding out, some already in leaf, and the beds at the Dallas Arboretum bursting with flowers in full bloom. Soon things will turn the corner here, I thought. There are signs we will yet vanquish winter. I arrived back home then cold and a little wet, but with a calm mind.

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