December 28th, 2011
It’s been a month since I posted a blog, and I’ve reached a point where I feel like I should send myself a letter saying, “Please write soon.” I have no excuses. I can say that the power of habit seems almost incalculable, both as a way to get things done and to not get things done. Let me just once lose the habit of doing something and it’s gone like it never existed. Walking a couple of miles almost every day? Did that for years–twenty years. Trying to get back to it, and it’s not a couple of miles, either, so don’t ask. Drinking 8 glasses of water a day? Ditto. Every day like clockwork, for years and years. Now… Oh. Now I’m going to go get a glass of water. Be back in a sec. So bear with me as I limp into the blog again, winded and out of shape.
I ask my brain for an idea to write about and my mind stares at me blankly. It says, “Can I have a mocha?”
I get it a mocha, but now it’s off sipping that, thinking only of the loveliness of chocolate, coffee, and whipped cream all in once place together, and I can’t get its attention at all. I’m on my own.
I wrap my hands around the mug to keep them warm, and think. It takes a long time. What I come up with finally is this:
I meant to write about the snowy owl we saw on the way to work one morning just after Thanksgiving.
This traveler from the Arctic made my mind wander to far places–not just up into Alaska and across all of Canada and over Lake Superior, but also to quiet places within myself. His foreignness made me think about new things,things I can’t even pin down and write about now, but which enlivened my day.
I think that’s what traveling and variation from our usual daily experience does for us, or can do. I’m a homebody and a creature of habit, but at the same time I crave adventure and new experience. Sometimes it flies in unannounced and unexpected, and I’m delighted.