Today I made a point of wandering about.
I’m getting to know my new campus, but every trip from one building to another is still an adventure. So today, when I needed to head off to a new destination–the bookstore–my first instinct was to follow one of the paths I already knew toward where I thought the bookstore should be. Instead, I tried heading off down another path, down some stairs I had never noticed before. It wasn’t such a radically different route–my building is at the highest point on campus, so all paths eventually lead down to roughly the same area–but just that little intentional act of heading in an unknown direction was enough to open my eyes just a little more to all that is still so new all around me.
It’s odd to realize how quickly I can fall into routines and familiar habits. And the moment things become familiar, the more likely I am to stop noticing what was so fresh and amazing just the other day. This morning, for example–did I feel the same wonder when I drove past the cattle pasture on the way to work? Did I even notice if the cattle were out grazing?
So: a little intentional wandering today, just to remind myself of how new everything still is, and how much there is to see.
After my grand adventure to the bookstore, I thought I would walk into town to get some lunch. Again, instead of heading in a direction that I thought I knew, I struck out toward undiscovered country… until I found myself downtown. Then I wandered some more, right into a pizza shop I had never eaten at before.
And the walk back to campus: the same thing. New headings, new paths.
I guess today I was becoming aware of how easy it is to lose Beginner’s Mind, even when I am still very much in the midst of new beginnings.
Then again, I also experienced how easy it is to nudge myself back into that awareness of all that is new, all around me.