Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Simple Pleasures

Halloween is a season of many indulgences full of hedons. It has become quite a bacchanal full of sexy costumes, stiff drinks, raucous parties, and offices and homes stashed full of treats. But amidst all this, one of my secret pleasures has been in the late night and early morning walks I take with my dogs.

Night comes earlier and the sun rises later this time of year, so now these walks take place mostly in the dark. This morning’s walk revealed a clear crisp sky. Stars shining brightly, I could see Jupiter getting ready to set, and with the help of my planetarium app I was quickly able to see Mars on the rise. I can’t help but think of the first primitive star gazers, as they watched each morning picking out the patterns in the sky and tracing the movement of the planets. Alone in the dark quiet with the dogs I can’t help but be connected to these astronomical ancestors.

Similarly on a walk a couple days ago, when the fog poured in thick and damp, I delighted in the waning visibility as the air turned translucent. The shapes and shadows of trees transformed into sinister figures surrounding me, slowly revealing themselves at my measured approach. I hoped the fog would stay for Halloween night to make this familiar neighborhood something strange and new to explore.

I love these quiet moments, when the world seems mine alone, and yet also ancient, powerful, and omniscient – ready to yield mysteries to those of us ready to see them. Some pleasures come just by stepping back, savoring what is revealed, and appreciating what lies before you.