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Downcast Eyes

Pushing that double stroller up the dusty path inhaling exhaust mixed with some restaurant salty BBQ aroma my eyes downcast on my worn down sneakers - each step a little closer to the top of the hill - wondering if this hill is always this hard or if I've skipped this run too many times lately and am burdened once again by the exhausting task of pushing the increasing weight my stroller holds. I am hypnotized by my feet and watching each heavy step and each small dust cloud created. Although the hill feels like ages long I am suddenly confronted by the top and quickly lift my eyes and face to the street corner. Only here I realize I am forced to look up from the safe rhythm of my shoes; one in front of the other making small impacts in well trodden earth. Then immediately after I lift my eyes, darkness starts to creep into my vision and I reach for the crosswalk poll and steady myself. I realize staring with downcast eyes while ascending the hill caused disorientation and almost a blackout. I can't help but recognize the metaphor.

When did I being going through the day to day - in other words my life - right here and right now with downcast eyes? Each day criticizing myself. Expecting more and more of myself. Assuming things others thought. In other words staring at my feet and only focusing on each step of each day because it seemed as if that is all I can handle. Why look up? Why notice life abundant around me? I am hypnotized by my feet. My worn self in the daily routine slowly heading through handling each circumstance as just another step toward the top and only as making a small dent in the well trodden Earth or perhaps a dust cloud. This perspective - this one which has led to me straying from my passion of writing- from running regularly - from all the things which make me Dana - causes disorientation. A dizzying feeling of surviving one day to the next. A blur of needs to be met, constant serving and a dispassionate approach to life.

I lift my eyes up. As I push the double stroller up the hill - as I go through the current season of raising a 3 and a 2 year old -I look up. I no longer look at my feet feeling unqualified. Feeling out of control. I look and am overwhelmed by goodness. I want to experience wonder through the eyes of my children. I want to face challenges head on and laugh daily. I don't ever want to look down at my feet again for so long I lose my vision. However, as I have grown older I realize I will again. And I know that is okay. And I know I have friends; my dear friends who will remind me of the wildly passionate, loving and fierce woman I am.

So my dear friends. Please don't go through your day (which is your life you are living right now) with downcast eyes. Eyes focused on what must be done. But eyes able to gaze upward and marvel at the typical daily loveliness. Eyes that can look with wonder, awaken awe, curate curiosity, and embrace all the surprises and uncertainty to come.


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