I walked today.

My habit, when weather and work permits, is to walk outside. Out the door at 6:00 AM.

I walk on the sidewalk, winding like a ribbon through my neighborhood, and pass each neighbor’s house at a brisk pace. Watching out for cracks and uneven places in the concrete, I’m also on guard for people who may back out of their driveways to go to work and the dogs whose electric fence could fail at any moment, interrupting me.

Interrupting what I’m THINKING about.

Today, as I started the walk, I decided to walk the same path in a new way—with my attention on being profoundly related to my neighbors and neighborhood.

Every aspect of it.

I chose today, for this 30-minute walk, to be out here, in the world, instead of in my thinking, in my readiness to be annoyed.

As a result, the whole world opened for me.

Shrouded in early morning shadows, I moved from one pool of light to another, little oases in the darkness. Lights from houses, from poles in yards, from a few streetlamps.  Not too much light.  Just enough to draw me, curious, to the next pool.  Like a frog navigating lily pads of light.

Looking at each home as I pass, some completely dark, I wondered: were they asleep or just awaking, maybe moving around in back, where the light did not reach the street?

Different styles of decorations flapped in the cold breeze—an eclectic blend of Halloween-past mixed with fall and Thanksgiving-coming.  What are the rules?  It seems that pumpkins are okay.  Bales of hay—not sure what that’s about—and gourds and scarecrows and strings of lights.  Not a lot of these, just enough for me to notice we’re in yard-decorating limbo between Halloween and Christmas.

Arriving back home, I notice I have one pumpkin and one frozen mum.