Friday, May 14, 2010
I wonder if Jack Handy ever wrote any of his "Deep Thoughts" while taking an early morning walk along a canal bank like the one pictured above.
I've uncovered several of my own along a canal bank. In fact, I frequent this particular spot pictured above. Called the Arizona Canal, it runs about 25 miles from one end to the other (from Scottsdale to Glendale), thus, providing a great running, hiking, jogging, walking and bike riding route for people who live, work and visit Phoenix. It also makes a great place to ponder.
Along the way, you'll see trees, desert vegetation, the water, an historic resort, elegant homes, and a landmark rock formation with spiritual qualities. Called the Praying Monk, I watch for it and always pause to take in those qualities.
I prefer to ride or walk alone along the canal, so I can savor the time to think. But sometimes my daughter joins me, and we experience the healing qualities of water together. And on Saturdays, you'll find me there with friends. They run it. I walk it, winding up with a six-mile exercise-filled morning. Sometimes, when I'm in my best shape, I can run four. But generally I walk the six. We all meet at a nearby coffee house for breakfast afterward. It's a pleasant way to begin a weekend.
Despite the enjoyment I feel when I'm with other people, I definitely prefer my time alone out there along side of the water. It's a calm and relaxing place. Ducks swim along with me, baby chicks following behind this time of year. Birds fly over me in the trees. Bikers and runners pass me by. Occasionally, I'll see entire families. We exchange friendly hellos. Especially when I'm out there by myself, I'm inspired by all of these sounds and sights. Ideas come to me. Answers to questions I'd been having are revealed. I've even recited entire speeches in my head, if I have an upcoming presentation.
The canal provides a quiet place to consider the challenges of the day. When I get back home, I write everything I can remember down in my journal. Some of it I use right away. But most of what I jot down I save for a later purpose. I look forward to this time. If I could go daily, I would.
Do you have a spot near water where you go to spend time alone with your thoughts? If there's nothing like this near you, how could you create such a healing space for yourself?