Friday 21 January 2011

Turning over an old leaf

I like walking. When I walk, I think. And walking alone through stunning landscapes, valleys and forests, that thinking can have a wonderfully cathartic effect.

With this kind of freedom, just surrounded by nature, the mind picks all kinds of things to think about. Little nuggets that got lodged out of sight suddenly come loose and you find yourself raking them over, resolving them and letting them go. It's purgative; a kind of mental colonic irrigation.

I think about a lot of current things too, even the future, every now and then. But mostly I just let my mind wander and see where I end up. The other day I was hiking a trail through temperate rainforest up to some waterfall or other in the Nelson Lakes National Park, when I got thinking about perspective again.

As I walked I was looking around and noticed one of the ferns appeared more delicate and fragile than the others.

I kind of nonchalantly ran my hand through them, plucked a leaf here and there, and only stopped when I turned one over. Underneath were tiny yellow spores, and it struck me as being exceptionally beautiful, and impossible to see from a distance. Impossible to see from an inch away even, without the curiosity to look underneath.

I kept walking, looking for more of them, when I realised I couldn't see them because they were everywhere.

I smiled when I thought to myself that we talk about "turning over a new leaf" when it would probably be simpler and a lot more rewarding to just flip over an old one.

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