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a walk

As I walked from the bike shop to the Atomic Café, it occurred to me: I am carrying too much. I’d filled my backpack with enough work for four hours, but I only had 45 minutes till my guitar lesson. And a guitar to carry, of course.

At the café I sipped my cup of tea. I wrote three thank you notes. They could have fit into the pocket of the guitar case.

As I walked to my lesson, I considered all the things I carry. Electronic devices, books, pens, papers, bags within bags. Perhaps I carry too much just so I’ll feel gravity pull me closer to the earth. Truth be told, overloaded bags never feel as heavy as the notion that there’s not enough time.

I love going to my guitar lesson. My fingers don’t yet keep pace with my ambitions, but that doesn’t bother me. I know how a person gains skill in music: day after day, you pick up the instrument.


On the walk home, I began to feel grateful that my bike was in the shop. The afternoon sparkled with late autumn’s earnest light. It occurred to me that I’d never before walked the small roads between Cabot and Rantoul. I picked up a newly fallen leaf and turned it over in my fingers.

what I carry

Before long I laid down everything. Time to dig my camera from the bottom of my backpack. Time to befriend my new neighborhood: all the sights I’ve been sailing past on my bicycle.

my neighborhood

Time to marvel at aging hydrangeas, a red fence, and laundry on a line. Someday I’d like to slow down enough to put my laundry on a line.

aging hydrangeas

red fence

laundry on a line

All that I ought to do will wait. The things that cannot wait will either get done or not. No one has wept at the sight of my dirty kitchen floor. No one has perished on account of an email I neglected.

I walked those roads three and a half weeks ago. I’ll write a blog entry, I thought. A short, simple entry. Writing it will do me good.

And it has. I don’t even mind that it took me three weeks to get ‘round to it. I’m beginning to understand how a person gains skill in surrender: day after day, you let something go.