At One, Just Once
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Breathe deep. Go quietly, eyes scanning the terrain ahead and to either side, arms swinging freely at your sides, fingers curled slightly so that the energy flowing up through you from the earth flows back again, renewing you as you walk. This is our second practice, the way we begin to know where we are and what’s going on around us. Go quietly! Walking is the body’s way of paying attention. Pay attention with your walking body!
Attention. From the Latin ad tendere, to stretch toward (and from the Indo-European root, ten-, to stretch or span).
Out of the woods you come, onto an open plain. Walking upright on two legs, you can see a long way over the land. With your stereoscopic vision, you can judge the distance from here to there. You forage in widening circuits that take you beyond the horizon, and as you loop through the landscape, retracing your steps from season to season, the very motion of your body calls up in you the expectation of landmarks and landshapes you cannot see. Cliff... marsh... boulder... scree.... You give this second landscape (the one in your mind) certain signs or sounds that you can repeat to your people to tell them where to find game, water, ripening fruit. As your mind stretches out over this remembered landscape, spanning the different occasions of your walking there, you begin to sing the myths and stories of who and where you are....
At One, Just Once, Just This