Thursday, April 13, 2006

Contrasts

I drove to the back end of nowhere to meet a client today, transitioning from highway to country road with the sweet sound of Ella Fitzgerald coming from a low power college radio station. I live in an area of such incredible beauty. With rich dark soil, rivers and creeks, trees everywhere and now with everything in bloom, it's as if an artist just gleefully threw bright paint on a canvas.

It's so pretty here that the manmade ugliness seems more extreme. The old manufacturing plants seem oppressive, and the new ones seem cold and monolithic. The main thoroughfare of every town seems to have sprouted the same franchises with the same oversized signs, and most of the downtowns seem rundown and on the edge of being abandoned. Beautiful old homes sit decaying because gentrification spreads slowly in the country, and new housing seems to come in about three different styles depending on how much you can spend.

Making the shift from awe and gratitude about nature to regret about the ugly, charmless and tacky creations of man was much harder than navigating the roads. I pulled into a state park just off the highway back to my office to eat lunch. Somewhere in the park, somebody had to be working, but it seemed like I was the only human there. I sat on the hood of my car, parked in front of one of several Indian mounds and just listened to the wind and watched the clouds. The noise of cars, road, radio seemed to seep out of me. I'd heard too much of my own voice that morning. Sometimes I try too hard to listen and remember work conversations, and those voices soon left me as well, leaving me feeling a pleasant emptiness.

I came back to the office sharper and more organized. I felt more ready to finish my list for the day and handle a problem for the womanchild that I knew was waiting for the work day's end. Even though it's late now, I'm heading back outside for a few minutes. My lunchtime retreat has made me want more, and a full moon is calling. It just really hit me today that this is Holy Week. I feel ready now to truly appreciate how sacred Easter is and should be for me. I've needed the emptiness to open myself to receiving more.

3 Comments:

Blogger Gannet Girl said...

I so love to read your entires. This is one of the first places I come every day, and this one is so indicative of why. How many traveling businesswomen spend their lunch hour eating in a state park? Or notice the things that you do as they travel? I would be raising my hand if I were still that person. But there aren't many of us.

April 13, 2006 6:47 AM  
Blogger Lisa :-] said...

Was going to say something else, but Robin's comment caught my eye. Reading your entry, the idea of sitting in a state park eating lunch, and making note of all the natural beauty and unnatural blight in your world...it felt exactly like something I would do...have done, in fact. Which is why I come here, and why I faithfully visit Robin as well. As different as we all must ultimately be, there are times when we just feel like soul sisters... And that is what keeps me coming back.

April 13, 2006 11:57 AM  
Blogger Vicky said...

Cynthia, you have done what we should all do - break away from the mundane and savor the richness that is around us. I never stop stop for lunch. Oh, I eat something, but I am always on the phone, checking e-mail, typing reports, or in a meeting where we are all snatching a bite. I even see kids sometimes while I am eating. This is wrong. You are right. I should listen.

April 15, 2006 12:24 AM  

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