Afternoon walk at work

A task in my Happify track this week was the Walk of Inspiration:

Take a meditative walk in a place that always inspires your best ideas. It could be a busy street, a hiking trail, or even the mall. (Hey, great ideas can come from anywhere.) Walk slowly at first, with eyes on the ground. Notice the tactile sensations of walking: the feeling of your feet, the temperature, the way your body feels.

Once you can walk at a normal pace while paying attention to sensory experiences, start noticing sounds—but try not to think too much!

Once you can attend to tactile and auditory sensations, start looking around and noticing any activity around you.

I decided that I would set out with the photo app opened on my phone and walk the grounds around the “campus” here at work. We are surrounded by Torrey Pines and native sage brush so it’s perfect for losing yourself in the sights, sounds and smells of nature. A welcome respite from the desk! Today was a good day because I am wearing softer soled shoes so that my own footsteps didn’t interrupt the sounds. It was a little chilly – I was glad I had on a sweater and I needed to button it up due to the gray skies completely covering up the sun. Often though, I find that the gray days mean I can see the bird life more clearly. The lack of glare and deep shadows makes the movement and colors catch your eye a bit more.

Sure enough, not a minute into the walk I heard the soft call of a rufous sided towhee. Not the main trilling song – he wasn’t up on the top of a bush singing – he was just flitting on the ground and then low in the bushes making his more sedated wheezy call. He moved too much for a photo, but was still so beautiful with his black and orange feathers providing a striking contrast to the green of the grass.

After spending a little time watching him, I set about taking pictures and had some fun afterwards making this collage in Picasa. I was paying attention not only to color but also to shape and textures as I walked:

Afternoon walk


There was more bird song serenading me through the walk, and the scents were fairly strong too. Sage and pine dominated.

Not a bad way to spend 15 minutes, but something I probably would not have done without the reminder – thanks again Happify 🙂


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