Often enough, I walk without letting my feet sink into the ground, without watching the breeze brush over green blades, or hear insect chatter, or breathe in the earth, the damp and the dry.
Through the trees, far in the distance, there’s a place that looks closer than it is, closer to how I think and feel, closer than the daily routines. It is closer than I know.
It’s different when things are quiet in the woods, when things are silent on top of the high cliffs. It’s different when all I hear are the animals. It’s different when I listen first and talk later.
It is still something special to look deep in the eyes of a stranger, a friend and not turn away if uncomfortable. It’s more open, acknowledging another spirit.
We can take the time to search for the familiar, but familiar stares us in the face, and it’s not about paying the bills, not about the bustling social structure, or all the outlets effortlessly plugging people in and out of their duties.
It is different when we slow, waking up to birds instead of cars. There is parking. The lanes are empty. I stand in the grocery line quiet, distancing myself and the next themselves. We are silent, but watching, like I watch clouds pass.
It’s the difference, the difference when I am different and you.