My friend Tom (aka., “The Blogfodder”) sent me a wonderful email today: “Nothing new here, but timely nonetheless,” he wrote. He was referring to urbanmindfulness.org, a website for city dwellers in need of inner peace.
The post about Chicago especially caught my eye.
Chicago usually gets walloped by whatever crappy weather passes through Minneapolis.
So—given the winter we’ve had in Minneapolis—I feel truly awful for the people of Chicago. They’ve been battling the same piles of snow and sheets of ice that have made driving (and walking) such a spectacular adventure.
Maybe that’s why this admonition so intrigued me:
For folks in Chicago, today’s snowstorm is a nice opportunity to walk slowly and mindfully. Pay close attention to patches of snow and ice and make sure that each footstep is placed solidly on the ground before shifting your weight. Notice also what–if any–judgments come to mind about the snow (e.g, “Enough already!” or “It’s beautiful.” or “This isn’t snow! You should have seen the Blizzard of ‘67!”).
It had never occurred to me that walking on ice might be an exercise in mindfulness. But after further reflection, I’m realizing that walking on ice is the MOST mindful activity I’ve ever undertaken. One false move and, “Hello, broken wrist (or tibia or collarbone)!”
It has also never occurred to me to observe my judgments about the snow. “This isn’t snow!” struck me as particularly hilarious. What else would it be—dandruff??!
Well, it’s worth a shot. I’ll try my hardest to visualize dandruff when I take my walk tomorrow morning. And I’ll let you know whether dandruff is an improvement over snow, or whether it’s better to just accept things the way they are.