My love affair with walking actually started with cycling. Several years ago, I started riding my bike to work and discovered how good it felt to feel the air on my skin and to see the world going by so much more closely than it did when I was in a car. I felt more connected to my surroundings and more engaged with the process of getting between two points, rather than being solely focused on the destination.Soon I discovered that walking was like cycling, only better because it was slower and I could connect even more deeply. I could see, vividly, all the details of my path and especially how they changed from day to day. I was mesmerized.
Field notes are the name that I give to any sketches drawn or notes written "in the field"—the field being anywhere that isn't at home or at work. They imply notetaking in the moment and the recording of observations. I tend to take a lot of field notes while traveling but I've been wanting to get into the habit in my regular life as well. I'm always coming home from walks with stories of the 'amazing' (at least to me) birds or flowers that I saw and I wanted to start intentionally recording these moments.
Paying attention brings magic into everyday life. If you feel like your life is too boring to bear, you're probably not looking hard enough. Last week I also listened to an episode of Elizabeth Gilbert's podcast, Magic Lessons. She was talking with pastor Rob Bell about the power of paying attention in even the most mundane circumstances and how this practice deepens our art and our lives. It was one of those conversation I had to listen to twice to get everything down.