On my walk tonight, I enjoyed the coolest of this new autumn's evenings so far, a perfect and clean-feeling temperature calm and peaceful and not quite as glorious as it might have been with slightly better breeze blowing but glorious nonetheless.
I had a thought along the way that these walks I take are a part of my effort to stay alive. Since the act of living is a thing worth doing, and worth doing well, for a long time, in good health, I walk to stay alive.
But I need also to walk a path in my soul that will keep it as clean as these physical walks are meant to keep my veins. I must remember to exercise those parts of my mind, those fibers of my heart that glow and hold happiness -- so that my thoughts do not clog themselves up with the thick spiritual plaque of resentment and bitterness and discontent.
These things will kill me. And I do not mean metaphysically -- it's pretty well documented that stress and depression have a profoundly negative impact on the human organism.
So as I walk to live, I also must hold to a course of the positive, if I want a long life in which I can not only enjoy myself but also gift others with whatever enjoyment and entertainment I am privileged to create.
All of this bumped around in my head as I walked, and then sort of faded into the background for a while. And then I passed through a waft of air that took me back to childhood -- to a fall or winter afternoon beneath grey skies outside of our little brick house where I liked to warm my hands at the vent that led from our clothes dryer inside.
There is something precious to me in that memory. The sense of being made warm by something clean, while everything around you is chill and cold. And it came back and stayed with me through the rest of my walk, thanks to that one moment of scent.
Thank you, goddess of love, for neighbors doing their laundry, and drafts of dryer exhaust that can somehow put the final brush-stroke on an understanding of how we can be happy.