We have had plenty of rain so the plants are very green. It is early fall and the maples are showing their stuff, truly dramatic and beautiful colors, sometimes in gorgeous mixtures on the same tree. I have a mundane, busy-as-usual attitude most of the time and I can actually feel reluctance to stop my errands and pause my agenda and just appreciate. Even without much momentum toward pausing and gazing, I get arrested whether I am so inclined or not.
Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor wrote a memorable account of her own stroke. In her book "A Stroke of Insight", she states that some of the basic brain circuits only run for about 90 seconds. After a minute and a half, anger, fear or other basic emotions come under my conscious control and I can choose to drop them if I think of doing so and apply myself. So, even when I am focused on getting gas for the car or some such errand, I can take a moment and see. I can let myself register what is going on around me.
One of my first blog posts "Thoughts on meditation", written in 2008, includes a section near the bottom of the page called Views from the French bus. I was trying to balance the bank accounts on a student Semester Abroad when I realized that the French countryside was floating by while I added and subtracted. It didn't make lots of sense to worry about numbers when a main purpose of the trip was to see that scenery.
People from Chicago often take their vacation days in Wisconsin. We don't have snow-capped mountains or multi-colored deserts but we do have wonderful country scenes. Prof. Jerry Apps' "Barns of Wisconsin", now available on Kindle, can show the sort of scenery we have
Our recent trip to the Scottish Highlands and Ireland showed us very green scenery and very old human constructions but Wisconsin and the US has some lovely stuff, too.
This being aware of what is happening inside the mind and in one's surrounding is a very good idea and a smart thing to practice. Sometimes, it isn't possible or wise to take your attention off the road or the discussion or the writing. But the beauty of a fall day can be a treasure not to be skipped or ignored.