A Silent Witness

The rain is falling outside, lightly, soothingly. I listen to the sound, old as time, and breathe a little deeper. My soul, like the parched ground all around, drinks it in.

I just returned from a short trip in DC where, for a couple of days, I got to be a tourist. This means that I had entire glorious days alone to walk and lose myself in the details of a new place…and I did just that.

I walked five to six hours every day, devouring the city with my eyes.

The Georgetown area quickly revealed itself to be my favorite. A mixture of old and new, the cobblestone streets and flowered lamp posts reminded me of small villages in France and Switzerland.

I walked into Dean and Deluca and drank in the delicious gourmet-ness of it…beautiful little pastries piled high in precise white, pink, and brown pyramids; shelves bursting with oils and spices that managed to tease my taste buds despite the thick colorful bottles separating us; mouthwatering artisan cheeses from all corners of the world cascading over each other in their eagerness to show off. I took it all in, eyes slightly glazed, as if in a dream.

And then there were the neighborhoods, little islands of peace and quiet in the midst of a bustling city. I strolled around, soaking in the sounds, the colors…

…peeking into windows, glimpsing old books stacked on end tables under heavy set lamps and imagining the lives that belonged to them.

I am always amazed at the little things we notice when we take the time to really look. I love being in a new place and having hours on end to discover, because discovering requires looking, and looking will reveal all sorts of things…little gems hidden right below the surface of everyday life.

Like an old tree, stubborn with age, standing its ground and growing around a fence. Proving, yet again, that nature is the strongest.

Or a flower growing through the sidewalk; who, proud of her strength and resilient spirit, arches her graceful neck towards the sky.

My days of strolling the city, talking to no one and yet seeing everyone, taking in the details, sounds, colors, and gestures, left me happy and at peace. I felt surprisingly renewed…as if disappearing into life is exactly what I needed to re-discover life.

Thank you D.C. for a wonderful trip.

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