Every morning last summer I walked the same route. Through my large neighborhood park, then winding my way through the various streets and alleys of my community to return home.
Come the fall though, as the sun rose later, I didn’t want to walk home in the dark, because of the large coyote contingency in the park.
I decided to walk my route backwards – to arrive at the park at the end of my walk, just in time for first light.
So instead of beginning my walk turning right, I turned left.
I walked into a surprisingly new world – approaching everything from a different direction. Instead of leaving my usual paths, I was entering them, seeing trees, streets and routes from an unfamiliar angle.
I actually had to concentrate. I couldn’t walk mindlessly by rote.
It made me consider – if I were to live my day backward, would I see my life differently?
If I approached the familiar from a new perspective, would I absorb and attend my life more mindfully – with work, routine, faith, and people?
“Familiarity breeds contempt” the old saying goes.
We think that all we see is all there is to see, and we become inured to the familiar.
How do we make choices that enable us to approach our work, routines, faith, and people afresh?
To reimagine our life and our relationships, we have to hear with different ears, see with different eyes and walk a different path than we are accustomed to.
This is not something that happens by accident.
We have to decide to want this. Then to do this.
So we need not walk home in the dark.
The featured image, Dawn Light on Kembu Road, is (c) Lancia E. Smith and used with glad permission for The Cultivating Project.