Many days, weather permitting, I cycle home from work through Forest Park.
I've been doing it for years now. So much so that I've told of it beforehand here on Cowbird as will you see if you drift through past stories.
It's a routine that never becomes routine.
Even when I cross over the same ground again and again.
Why it this? Why does every journey home (and it's almost always homeward bound; the few times I've cycled to work through the park have been constrained by fretting about getting there on time) seem like a fresh adventure?
Perhaps it's because I've come to relish the present as I age. They've become more precious, these moments, because I'm old enough now to see fewer years ahead of me than behind. More and more contemporaries of my age - and younger - will see no more years ahead.
On the surface, this comprehension should seem dismaying, but I don't really feel that way. Whatever trajectory the arc of my remaining life takes. Is it possible to feel that you have lived enough? I look back and see a rich past, one that seems consequential, certainly consequential enough for me. I'm drawing closer to retirement, a change that will remove these cycle rides from my daily habit unless I make a different sort of effort to maintain them.
Perhaps other habits will become established. I think most likely they will. What I do not want to lose, though, is that sense of wonder that crosses my mind everytime I take a turn along an overgrown path and see a rabbit or a flower that was not in bloom yesterday or any other of the changes that occur all around me, not just from season to season or day to day, but hour to hour. Or shorter still times.
For moments such as these are precious to me. More precious by far than anything that social convention deems worthy - money, possessions, prestige.
They will always remain so.
I think, at last, this means that I have grown up.
Photographs of Forest Park. Do you see the bunny in the second image?
Black and white film taken using an aging Canon EOS 620 camera, developed in the kitchen sink, and scanned by myself. A wet pleasure that has reinvigorated my love of photography.