I just love it when you go in with an intention and the universe says differently.
Let me set the scene. It is drizzly and chilly, gray and damp. The bike trail is wide allowing social distanced, often masked, walkers, runners and riders. I am dressed as you see in the picture. I am pretty sure you cannot tell if I am male, female or shmoo. My head is covered by my trail/safari type hat which is squished down over my ears by two hoods and I'm wearing rain gear that is literally seven sizes too big and safety pinned to make it fit and stay. Oh, and my glasses are fogged. My bike is not a trail or racing bike but a bike meant for going to the market in a European cobble stoned town to get bread and fish for the day, and I love it. The seat is huge and cushy and I will forever be grateful for that invention.
I set out onto the bike trail today with a purpose. Because I have a bad knee, I always put my bike in high gear to strengthen the surrounding muscles. I go pretty slow and call in mindful nature connection along the way by attaching with sight, sound, and all the senses to the natural world around me. By doing this, you can calm the train of swirling thoughts and more peacefully and deeply notice what is around you. The practice is greatly restorative. I also find that once I have done this, my creativity and problem solving is more available. I come from a clearer mind. So the plan was to use my relaxation/coherence toolbox, and to gain some insight into a rather science based blog I was planning today.
But...here is what happened instead.
I think my track is about ten miles - five down and five back. About 2.5 miles in I am feeling pretty good, minding my breath and the nature scene around me. Cool air touches my eyes (the only area not covered), the smell of damp leaves even makes it through my mask and there is a beauty in the late Fall woods despite the time of year as most of the trees have lost their leaves.
As I turn my attention from the nature around me back to the trail itself, an older woman walking solo says hi with a HUGE amount of smile in her eyes, AND, then says "have a great day." I reply the same, moving slow enough to exchange hellos to those passing on the other side of the trail. Then it just kept happening. The trail is by no means crowded. Folks are sparse but almost every single person exchanges a greeting. Thoughts of greater insight into my planned blog now gone, I am overtaken with the kindness and need to connect with folks on the trail. Young, old, slow, fast, most alone, some with a spouse or friend. The energy of good will is palpable. Weather conditions get a bit worse on the return trip but there is no slowing of the greetings. As I pass someone walking I ring my little bell and make sure to say "thank you and have a good walk."
You might infer that it is perhaps possible that folks found humor in my attire. My son said I looked like a bedraggled park ranger. I thought it was a cross between Old Man and the Sea and a space- aged-Laura Ingles Wilder- bonnet wearing- bank robber. Regardless, the energy and good will on the rainy grey Saturday was so strong.
In our HeartMath class, one concept we discuss is the science coming from some big universities and major research institutions that is measuring the energetic connection between all living organisms, people included. Have you ever walked into a room and you can feel a positive energy OR, conversely, a negative one? Or, when you are feeling really good, do you notice how that effects those around you positively?
That was the trail today. That is what we strangers had going. Why today? Don't know. Perhaps because the COVID crisis has made us need the connection more and we sense that need in others. We are getting really good at smiling with our eyes;). And it is that energy, that possibility of better connection and sharing good intention, that settled nicely in my clear mind today on the bike trail. I was so concealed by my gear that I had no discernable identity, but I was there as an energetic entity, a human passerby, and that was all that mattered.