Who Will Notice? Paying Attention to What Matters

Today I woke up in a funk. I felt a bit overwhelmed and didn’t know what to do next, even though my list was long. To clear my head (or more likely to procrastinate), I decided to go for a short walk.

Photo credit: Jennifer Mathews © 2014

Behind my house there is a narrow path along a steep embankment. Following it leads you through the trees and eventually to Lake Siskiyou. I’ve been out of town recently and hadn’t walked here for at least a month.

When I got to the back of my neighbor’s house, two doors down, the path had been raked smooth. It’s typically covered with long pine needles, sticks and small rocks. But I could see fine lines in the dirt from a rake, like a Zen sand garden. The fact that someone took the time and care to maintain the trail felt so welcoming. My mood started to shift.

In the fall, I had also found the whole trail spruced up this way. It touched me then, too, and I told people about it for weeks. A quarter-mile long path raked without recognition, a random act of beautification.