You’ve seen them, those people shuffling down the sidewalk gazing down into their phones — excited maybe to see that a notification from Facebook has appeared since they checked a few minutes ago.
Hey, I’m not judging. I’m pretty hooked on my little device, too. But I’ve also discovered that when I’m outside for my lunchtime walk I can use my phone to help me look outward, not just inward.
I meander slowly and stop often to ponder a view. I look for patterns, themes, textures or anything unusual. It’s a simple thing, but it’s refreshing and inspiring. I’m rewarded with so many gems.
When I find one, I take a photo. Of course, I then post the photo to Facebook (and later check compulsively to see if anyone has “liked” it). But these images become a record of my effort to be present, to live in the moment, to appreciate the beauty around me.
I usually stay within a three-block radius of my office, and yet I manage to find new things every day. Here are a few.
I would have missed a few late hangers-on if I hadn’t looked up:
And if I hadn’t looked down, I would not have spotted this owl in my parking spot:
And a turn down an alley rewarded me with this:
Then, serendipity in an arrangement of arches:
Sometimes, I stumble upon a theme. One day, I was intrigued by a spill, so I searched for others:
Letterforms can be endlessly fascinating (and a reminder that if you run out of W’s, an upside-down M will get the job done):
Textures and colors often meet in unplanned but beautiful ways.
What do you see in your neighborhood?