Brandy a I have a routine for our morning walks, we enter the park across the street and follow along a path that skirts the tree line until we are in the middle of the little forest. From this point we have a few choices as there are a number of trails we can take. We can continue straight ahead which will take us deeper into the forest, or turn left and take us back to the park or, we can turn right taking us on a path that connects to more trail options.
Turning right is the way we go pretty much everyday we walk this park. Depending on our mood and pain level that day, we can push further into the forest or catch a path that will return us to the main trail and head back to the park. We have walked this pattern so often that Brandy can lead the way in and out. This has come in handy on a few occasions when I have become disoriented with my surroundings, I was able to follow Brandy until I was able to reconnect. There is a certain comfort level in the routine of walking the same pattern, there may also be a little OCD there for both of us. Even though we are in a forest, there are landmarks that you look for to let you know where you are and when it’s time to make a turn. Landmarks like a fallen or leaning tree. You start to rely on these indicators to be there as the seasons change and the landscape changes it’s appearance. The forest looks very different in the summer compared to the winter. The summer canopy allows for so much more color but you are enclosed in a much smaller world. The winter gives you a clear view through the trees and exposes many of the secrets the forest had been hiding, but with out it’s color there is a very different feel to the texture and depth of the forest.
Every once in a while we like to change things up and try a different direction for our walk. It is surprising how starting down a trail that we normally would have finished on, can change your Perceptive of the surroundings. We decided to go straight ahead and start on the trail we usually finish on. It is amazing how little changes can alter the experience, the sun that would normally be on our right is now on the left. For someone that is always looking for something to take a picture of, the shadows are leaning toward us now instead of away from us and we see a side of trees and shrubs that we wouldn’t unless we stopped and looked over our shoulder.
As we make our way through the forest, and change trails and direction, the sun moves to our left and the shadows are now leaning away from us. There is a level of discomfort, although this is a path we have traveled many times, the Perspective is different.
The familiar, the distant sound of commuter traffic, the competing chatter of Chickadees and Squirrels and the neighbors coming by for breakfast.
For many walking a trail in one direction or the other would be no big deal. When the day is a challenge to navigate and a twist is thrown in, a change in expectations like the position of the sun, the direction a shadow leans or landmarks that don’t look quite right, can be unsettling and difficult to justify. Confronting obstacles like changes in the day can be tough, conquering those obstacles can be fulfilling. To conquer a challenge, we only have to give our best effort. Taking the same path and not challenging ourselves from time to time, we will be denying ourselves experiences. Sometimes we need to try Changing Our Perspective.