September 9, 2013

Logan Circle

Routines can be a tricky thing. They're nice to have, of course, and there can be something very soothing about sticking to a pattern. They make things easier, and we know what to expect. They're efficient. 

After a while, though, you start to realize that by sticking to the well-trodden path every day, you're missing out on everything that lies beyond. It wasn't until the hubs and I moved to a neighborhood on the other end of the city that I realized how much I hadn't known about DC, even after five years of living here. An act as simple as taking a different metro line than I usually do and walking to brunch from Shaw rather than Dupont Circle became an opportunity to notice streets that I ignored before or peek into neighborhoods I hadn't noticed. Why hadn't I done this before?

Even on that particularly rainy afternoon, I wanted to take my time and look out beyond my umbrella and wonder what it would be like to make this walk every day. The relative quiet of Logan Circle opened itself to me, or maybe I opened myself to it. Maybe we were both just waiting for the other to appear. As I walked towards the circle, it certainly seemed as though I was exactly where I needed to be. 

I fell in love with the park benches under the trees, the black-lacquered gates of a charming rowhome, and the flower pots that lined front porches. I fell in love with the tree root that had broken through the concrete walkway. I fell in love with the rain and the way it made the earth smell alive. Was it possible, I wondered, to always feel this way? Was it possible to always notice and savor the spaces around me?

I know that I could have had that experience in a number of DC neighborhoods, and I hope that I will continue to have them throughout my life. It's not just about walking around an area that has pretty homes, though that certainly doesn't hurt. To me, it's more about going somewhere a little unfamiliar and really seeing everything around me, even if it's just for a few minutes and involves just getting off at a different metro station. It's about not taking things for granted, and it's about veering off the path every now and again. Who knows what I could find there?

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