The Art of Observing

Walking back and forth from my apartment to main campus in college has formed a bad habit of only focusing on  the destination. I always look across the street to see if there are cars coming, or look towards the building I am about to walk in. Even in the car on road trips I tend to stare at the road and the ever flashing yellow or white lines that guide my path to my final destination. I find myself obsessed with getting to where I need to be.

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What happened to the days of my childhood, when I could be lost in the woods for hours just finding new sticks? I no longer am satisfied with what the world has to provide. The process of getting from place to place has been lost with age and new destinations.

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I took a walk the other day, in an effort to refocus my mind and to take a break from always going toward something. I walked in the local park in a loop through the woods and around a pond. Although the path was five miles long, it felt like 100 feet. I became completely absorbed with the art that nature itself had to offer. I noticed small things like the tiny trees that had just began to spring up, and large things like the depth of the pond/lake. One of the things that captivated me the most was the fact that in the five mile loop, I was probably looking at a larger number of trees than the number of people I will see in my life time.

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This fact still resurfaces in my mind when I am walking to and from campus. It blows my mind that I take for granted the many wooded areas around where I live, the many animals that live within 50 feet from my front door, or the many colors that nature puts in the sky at sunset.

I hope that I can instead of solely focusing on my destination and how fast I can get there, I can slow down enough to observe the beauty that is around me while I am going. There are many ways that I can change this, but one of them would be to run or spend time outside instead of working out or running on a treadmill. The false sense of going somewhere that takes place on a treadmill only gives me satisfaction because I can still watch TV or listen to my favorite music. By running outside or even just taking a walk outside, I can actually enjoy the process of going somewhere instead of staying in the same location the whole time.

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The more we as humans disconnect ourselves from the world around us, the more we tend to destroy it. I hope that getting more of a connection by truly observing as I am going to and from, I can learn to live in harmony with the world that we live with instead of constantly draining from it. The funny thing is that on TV or in magazines, the media tries to present to the viewers something pleasing or attractive, when all we have to do is look around us for the most amazing art work in the world.

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