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  • I walk the same path almost every day of the year at nearly the same time every day. Some days it's as if the waterfall up the street from my apartment calls my name. I walk, I breathe deeply near the falls to cleanse my soul with the sweet water vapors. I watch closely as the splashing water changes patterns as it crashes into rocks, flows and churns over itself. I close my eyes and listen to it sing for hours on end and let the rest of my life float away with each droplet of water over the falls. Then I walk home along the same quiet road I took to get there.

    To some people, this repetitive act seems mundane, routine, verging on autistic. They ask, "Don't you tire of seeing the same houses, same cars, same personless sidewalks? Wouldn't you rather walk someplace else and see new sites?"

    "No," I reply, knowing what they do not know about my daily path. Although many of the landmarks remain constant, my steps are timed, and I could count the cracks in the sidewalk, I see new things every day. The lighting changes ever so slightly, increasing as spring grows near, diminishing in the winter months so I arrive home in the dark. The grass these days becomes greener, and day by day new flowers poke up through the thawing land. Yesterday some purple wildflowers had budded, and today they were wide open, rejoicing in warmer weather and longer days, silently echoing my excitement for a new season.

    My daily walk is my release, my connection with the world around me, my religious experience. Each breath is a hymn of worship to nature and her power. Each step is a confession of my finity and brevity. Walking, I learn to perceive minute changes and appreciate both the greatness and smallness in the world.

    Ultimately, I have no reason to walk the same path every day except that I must.
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