Today I did something I have never done before. I took the sky train into Vancouver for the monthly ATC swap. It wasn't my original plan, but I am kind of glad it worked out that way.
What I discovered (or rediscovered, actually) was that when you travel this way, high above the streets of the city, you have a bird's eye view and you can see all kinds of things you wouldn't normally see travelling in a car.
I noticed a wonderful mural painted on a long wall of a local park I didn't even know existed. It had all kinds of giant produce painted on it. I saw a sports car parked in behind some industrial buildings with it's front axle so badly bent that I doubt anyone will ever drive it again. I saw a fleet of old tugs docked along the Fraser River in New Westminster, so old, their white and teal paint was peeling off. I saw a lean-to shelter behind a building near the city center that I doubt anyone is aware is there. Someone who is homeless is "living" there. I wondered who it was and how they came to be there. I worry, especially because we have had such inclement weather. I saw lots of graffiti on freight trains I passed. It was beautiful and artistic in its own way. Further down the line there was a skate park where the graffiti on the walls that surround it is intentional art. I also saw a row of houses, each painted in a different deep folk art colour. I thought that was delightful and I wondered if the neighbours all got together and planned it that way. I was unable to take photographs due to the speed I was travelling at so I will have to be content with the snapshots I took with my mind's eye.
It's interesting to shake up the routine, to travel an unfamiliar route in order to experience something new or to see something from a different angle. Inspiration is all around us, we just have to look with fresh eyes. What a gift it is to do something that seems so ordinary, so trivial and have it feel like an adventure. Our lives aren't lacking in excitement-they are lacking in awareness! We look at things every day. How often do we really see them?
"The moment one gives close attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious, awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself."
"People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don't even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child -- our own two eyes. All is a miracle."
-Thich Nhat Hanh