I walked my friend’s dog this week with reminders of how I make the most of my travels. It was enlightening that a short stroll with my obedient canine often led me unexpectedly to gain positive virtues from my surroundings. An ancient iguana posing in solitude along a canal, a family of butterflies hovering aimlessly amidst an old pine tree, a swarm of bees hypnotized in pollinated bliss.my senses came alive then and realized the need to appreciate the sheer beauty of nature.
I recognize similar moments in my life as a curious globetrotter. I usually find it enjoyable to compile research about a travel destination ahead of time However, I feel it is equally important for me to be observant of what I am seeing along the way. In the spirit of the Celestine Prophecy, an unplanned moment of discovery can give me the power to act upon any positive energy that surrounds me.
Consider a recent visit to the much maligned city of Cleveland. Although I have not lived in Northern Ohio for over 50 years, I continue to return here for several reasons. First, the presence of seasons captivates my attention on every occasion I visit. A simple walk through crackling leaves along Lake Erie enlivens me with a feeling of aliveness. Second, the city’s industrial past reminds me to appreciate the simple virtue of working hard to succeed in life. Gazing at the decayed factories along the Cuyahoga River, I get a glimpse at myself, working overtime for my students as an unappreciated educator.
Most importantly, there is a uniting force that the city of Cleveland reminds me to believe in. My joy at journeying there stems from a feeling that the downtown remains for all to enjoy at a reasonable cost. The endless search for a championship in Browns football, Indians baseball, and Cavs basketball for example, brings people across generations to downtown. It has always been fun to travel downtown by rapid transit on game days to join these dedicated fans in support of these sports franchises win or lose.
When I was a child, I imagined myself walking along the “Yellow Brick Road” to an Emerald City in The Wizard of Oz. I now realize that my fairy-tale will continue if I perceive beauty in the present moment along all roads that I travel. The tears that I wish to shed then will always be happy ones.