vendredi, mai 27, 2011

Seeing again, for the first time

This morning my son and I drove out to Phoenixville from our little Glenmoore village. A sprawling community, it embraces not only a formerly gritty, now diverse town (that retains a lot of its working-class members), but also a number of swanky developments. That's where some of my daughter's kindergarten pals lived -- and if you've seen one of these developments, you've seen most of 'em.

I knew Phoenixville near the cemetery, where those not caught up in its gentrification lived (I had visited parishioners there), Phoenixville the suburb, and Phoenixville, home of middle-class professionals and hipsters.

In fact, though I have been to the town many times, I regularly get lost leaving it. And today, I got lost once more.

But until I hit the "bridge out" sign on its backroads today, I didn't know Phoenixville, with its tree farms, and horse corrals and winding back roads. I hadn't seen the farms, the tiny roads that hadn't been paved since Roosevelt was President, or the red-roofed 19th-century houses. Familiar with some of the beauty on the other side of bisecting Route 113, I hadn't taken the time before to explore these Chester County lanes.

Running, or biking on the roads we drove down today might yield some of those moments of tranquility my soul craves with regularity.

It got me thinking of what else I'm missing. What is it that I don't take the time to see, intent on getting from Point B to Point A in the shortest number of minutes? What people do I race past, because the person next to them is more important to me? When do I pay attention? When do I hide? When don't I care enough to be present?

We're always pushing towards the future -- when the present has so many riches. I'm glad I got lost on the way to our future. Otherwise, I never would have stopped, and seen the "now" -- and remembered it for next time.

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