I went out for a walk this morning. A closer walk, I like to call it. In one of the Abundance Workshops we took years ago, our assignment one day was to go out in downtown Philadelphia, and take "a closer walk with God". For 4 hours, we were to speak to no one, just walk, listen, and observe. It was a very interesting exercise, one that I have practiced many times since.
When I take these walks, I do not don ear buds and listen to my IPod. It's just me and the "heal-and-toe express, walking wherever my heart leads me, and going wherever the "still small voice within" leads me.
This morning's walk was simply glorious. A journey, really. I walked back in time, 40 years, as I found myself gazing upon the square where I once was introduced to Eunice Kennedy Shriver at a McGovern-Shriver rally, and she gave me a big hug and told me how much she had heard about my work on the phones in Windsor on behalf of her husband, Sargent Shriver, and his running mate, Geoarge McGovern.
Over here stands the Travelers Insurance Home Office building, where I flew up to my Dad's office that same day, high on my quest to stop Nixon, wanting only to share my excitement at having just met and hugged Eunice, and how I was going to try to stop that bastard Nixon, and getting instead a putdown and lecture from Dad about how ridiculous I was, and who was I to "barge into his office" like I did.
A long ago incident, long since healed, but interesting to find myself back at the "scene of the crime", maybe to just reassure that 17 year-old inside of me that he done good way back when, and it all turned out o.k. with Dad, who did, indeed, turn out to have an unbelievable amount of love for him. He just did not know how to express it at the time, nor how to deal with his manic-depressive son. Both eventually figured it out...in spades, I might add.
I walked on. Further back in time. Here is the Wadsworth Atheneum. Henry Wadsworth. This area was, after all, where I had my intellectual awakening exactly 40 years ago, and learned so much about the poets and poetry, and came to a real appreciation for the arts through my brother Ken, my Mom, and our many trips around New England to explore the museums and the history of this storied part of the country.
They're having an Andrew Wyeth display here right now. Sister Juli and her man, Ralph, came here the other day, and described a feature of the display that included a photographer who'd grown up admiring Wyeth's work in here, and eventually had the opportunity to work with him, and some of his work was on display. This made me think of some of Peter Ralston's stories about working with Wyeth.
I walked on. The riverwalk. This river. I had so many moments of enjoying nature and feeling history by this river, those 40 years ago in my awakening.
Here was a small scupture statue remembering Lincoln's meeting with Louisa May Alcott, 150 years ago. There seems to be a lot of references to Lincoln here, something I was not expecting.
Further along, on the Riverwalk, I see a sign for the Lincoln Financial Scultpture Garden. Hmmm - never saw a financial sculpture before. I wander what that's all about? O.K., I get it now. It's a sculpture garden funded by Lincoln Financial!
But, a wonderful experience, just walking along the banks of the river, taking in the many sculptures. Then I find myself gazing at a stone bench sculpture, with a stone foot rest, looking at another sculpture of "stumbling blocks", entitled "Perserverance", and dedicated to Lincoln. This is my spot.
Here, I rest on the stone bench, which is entitled "Relaxation", and is an interactive piece - you are actually invited to sit and relax on it, so I put my feet up on the stone footrest, and did my morning reading and meditation, rich with my beautiful, years-long historical half-hour closer walk with God.
I conclude my session with a thankful heart, and a most refreshed soul, feeling SO connected with the universe, with my God, and with myself.
It's a beautiful day. Life is good!