It’s a phrase we’re all familiar with from childhood, I expect. When we’re young, it seems unfair, wrong, and many of us share only resentfully. Getting older, if we’re lucky, we realize that sharing often feels pretty good – if it’s done by choice, from the heart.
During the course of a long-term project, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the generally-solo nature of it. You get used to the silence, comfortable with the truth that everything is your own responsibility and under your own control. If you’re somewhat solitary by nature, it even feels normal. Natural.
But. When you are constantly on your own, your knowledge is limited by what you, and you alone, know. So you travel the trail, thinking the same thoughts, noticing the same things, taking the same actions. You never get to see where you are through someone else’s perceptions.
So it’s okay to share your project with a friend. (Actually, it’s more than okay, it’s a good idea!) Kind of like this morning. My friend Bobbie joined me at the trail head this morning, and we walked the path together. Along the way she shared the location of a patch of blackberries. We talked about the prairie grasses and the occasional controlled burns that are necessary for the prairie’s health (and Red Wing’s safety – a spontaneous and uncontrolled ignition of thick, dead, dried grasses in the summer could threaten the city itself).
Walking the trail every morning, you get accustomed to the steepness of the hill, overlook it; seeing through Bobbie’s eyes reminded me that not only is this an impressive height, it needs to be treated with respect and some caution.
We talked about what sunrise is versus the what defines ‘dawn’ and I got to show her the astrolabe and sunrise apps on my phone.
The sun himself didn’t show… but the experience was made completely fresh and new, looking through Bobbie’s eyes.