Noise. Then immersion in thinking and writing
A noisy walk initially. I-71 runs nearby. Now, during summer, I couldn’t see the interstate. But the vehicles seemed to race over my eardrum as I walked Thurman-Hutchins Park.
My mind wandered a lot. I didn’t think much about nature. My awareness flitted around, from family members to rucking. From military virtues to career disappointments. From previous walks to others under consideration. From fishing to my daughters.
I walked over to the Patriots Peace Memorial, which didn’t exist in my youth and which I’d never visited. It stands as a monument “to those United States military personnel who gave their lives in the line of duty at times other than those of declared hostile action.”
What contorted phrases we deploy to try to disguise from ourselves that we are at war.
Still, I found the urge, the motivation, the striving for peace stirring. As I found the willingness of men and women to train and prepare for our protection, knowing that the training is far more hazardous than almost anything I will do in my life. Later, I read the stories of these soldiers, sailors and airmen. Even the preparation for war calls forth the sacrifice of war.
I walked back to Thurman-Hutchins Park and sat at a table under a portico. I had some thinking and writing to do. For an hour, I absorbed myself in it. Now the interstate noise receded from my consciousness. Perhaps the peace of the memorial had encompassed me.
My immersion in nature worked well; I made tremendous progress on a project. I didn’t feel the distraction of a computer or even check my “smart” phone. A glorious hour passed. I closed my notebook and took a deep breath.