Just a few brief thoughts tonight, because writing is a practice, and like any practice it requires conscious, regular attention.
I had some errands to run this afternoon and found myself downtown with 30 minutes before my next appointment. I might have driven around aimlessly. I might have gone home, only to sit for 15 minutes and then go out again. I chose instead to go to City Pier, park my car, and walk slowly out to the end of the pier and back. I was wearing my Five Fingers shoes and I noticed the difference in feel between the hard, flat asphalt and concrete of the parking lot and sidewalk and the slightly softer wood timbers of the pier. Each wood beam, although visually on the same plane as all the others, had its own angles and bumps, each one asking me to pay attention. The pier took on a life under my feet, which I’d had no idea was there before today.
It was a perfectly calm, nearly 80 degree afternoon. I stood at the end of the pier and watched the Coho ferry coming in. I noticed the ship’s red-and-white reflection in the water, ruffled by its own wake.
I walked back to the base of the pier, where the water is only a few feet deep and I could see the bottom near the mouth of Peabody Creek. I noticed the small waves that found their way into that far corner of the harbor. I noticed the way the waves broke up the sunlight and created moving patterns of bright light across the seaweed and rocks on the bottom. I watched that moving light for several minutes.
Then I walked back to my car and drove on to my next errand. I felt refreshed, calm, and grateful for the few moments I had created for walking and paying attention.
Life is a practice, and moments are what we have.