For months, my various running routes have all had one particular corner in common. And for all these months I have failed to notice this empty bench sitting away from the curb, slightly hidden by unruly hedges and overgrown weeds. I saw it tonight and it stopped me in my tracks. It was like a sad little poem. Lonely, forgotten, waiting. So I decided to pull out my phone to preserve it and give it some life.
I’ve been trying to notice things like this on my runs lately…sort of an exercise in mindfulness. It’s been a deal I’ve made with myself. No more focusing on my aching legs or next water break. Instead, I will look beyond myself and:
– smile and say hello to every runner I pass. Or the runners who pass me. Even the douche bag I saw tonight who kicked his heels to his butt with every stride.
– stop – completely stop – for every friendly dog who pulls the leash in my direction.
– wave to people in their yards.
– leave the earbuds at home and listen instead to the world around me.
– watch where I’m going, but look beyond the concrete. There’s so much beauty out there.
Maybe this makes me a less-than-serious runner, but I don’t mind. It works for me.