For the past month I've been walking each morning. I head out while it is still dark and watch the shape of the day form. I think my own thoughts, I sometimes sing aloud, and I periodically pause to watch the changing light as I climb higher up the hill. I want to see the light moving. I want to see the sun rising.
Some morning patterns are exactly the same each day. The sun always rises. The birds always chirp. And since I rarely meet another walker at this hour, it is only my thoughts I hear.
Some patterns are different though. The colour of the sunrise is never the same. How much light there is depends on the clouds and how close we are to the Solstice. Sometimes I meet a dog and it walks with me. Sometimes I meet deer.
And while my mind experiences pure freedom for this short hour each day, I find that I return again to the same old threads, same thoughts and dreams and desires. With each footstep, these threads are slowly taking shape like the morning light around me. I can feel it. Threads of light, threads of thought weave in and out of time. I am slowly taking shape. Gifts I know I have, I ponder. Pulling dreams from the past into the present, I consider. I try to be present in the moment and let go of the coming day and all it will bring.
Thoreau writes in Walden: "It is something to be able to paint a particular picture, or to carve a statue, and so to make a few objects beautiful; but is is far more glorious to carve and paint the very atmosphere and medium through which we look, which morally we can do. To affect the quality of the day, that is the highest of arts."
I walk. I wait. I listen.