Part of the reason I chose to live where I do in Lusaka was that contrary to all the other neighbourhoods I’ve lived in over the past 3 years, Kabulonga is quiet. There are long wide streets, paved and lined with grass, trees and flowers. There is less traffic, less people calling out at you, and as it turns out, a lot of runners.
Usually, I try to drag myself out of bed in the morning and go running. I found a great route that loops around. I get up, put on my running shows, by music and I’m off, lost in my own thoughts.
The other day, I came back from work late, but with too much on my mind and too much restless energy to relax at home. I walked up the road to the start of my running loop as usual, but decided that maybe this time I’d try going around it the other way. It’s amazing how much more I saw! A change in the time of day and a changed direction and suddenly I was so much more aware of the road, the different flowers, the houses and offices I was running past. I’d noticed those in the beginning, but now they just faded away into the scenery. In the mornings, I’d fallen into a routine; I was running but, I wasn’t present.
It reminded me of how often and easy it is to operate on a default or automatic setting, but also how easy it is to find new perspective and presence.