We arrived on Winter Street as autumn was shedding leaves. We had a few weeks of glorious open windows and the sounds of birds and I ventured out quite a lot in the mornings to explore my surroundings. We had moved to the edge of the West End--this extraordinary place, like another realm. Quiet winding streets, Victorian homes with hidden gardens, old benches, wild flowers, fairies, I'm sure.
But today, the sun is back on our side.
As I moved down Pine Street, with its huge old homes, wide street and daffodils pushing up through earth, I breathed in lungfuls of ocean air. I felt connected to my surroundings. Old ladies walked dogs. The occasional bike. The sound of an old car trying to start. By the time I reached the Western Promenade, I was faced with the outlook over South Portland. I could hear this morning commute roar, of cars moving fast to the office/lobster boat/wherever these people go in the mornings.
As I walked along the little path by the view, I remembered my secret walks in Hong Kong. Pathways through old backstreets that would take me to banyan courtyards, down hills and to secret bays. I communed with old Hong Kong, its stories. I spoke to its spirits. I would walk and think, and observe and the world would offer these insights. My sense of self would expand, as my mind curled around those forms, sounds and smells.
Today, I remembered the magic of those walks. I remembered that I am a soul not accustomed to winter. I have come from a land of street markets and sun. So I am making a pact, to turn towards the sun again. To wake up to my present life. To stop the mind from grasping at far-away dreams. To just wake up, walk, work and feel the sun on my face. And, as if hearing my thoughts, a friend posts a poem to Facebook:
"Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;
And give us not to think so far away
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year."
Photo credit: Wiki Commons