Today, when I was thinking about that for which I am most grateful and taking a lunchtime walk through the neighborhood, I decided that my persistent appreciation for beauty is worthy of the highest gratitude. The ability always to be entranced by beauty has gotten me through many a moment of potential suffering.
Though many of the trees have lost their leaves, the spectacular color show continues. Some of the trees are still sporting green leaves, so there is more to come. And then will come the time to enjoy the exquisite architecture and shape of the branches themselves against the winter sky–it’s own kind of beauty.
The past several days in DC have been perfect for walking. The mornings, for me, require a winter coat and gloves and a hat or scarf. At the warmest part of the day, the air is refreshingly cool, and I can shed some layers. In spring and fall, there is little I want to do more than take long walks. And so I take to the sidewalks even more than the usual walk to work, to the Farmers’ market, to the metro, to visit with friends, to teach, to go to the nursery or the grocery store, to go to the bank and post office, to go get a massage. I make no effort to be efficient and consolidate errands; every errand is an excuse to take a walk. I add a block or seven onto an errand walk. I walk and think and then my attention is seized by the beauty of the color and the light. I have to pause and drink it in.