[Audio version here: https://soundcloud.com/lex-mckee/a-walk-in-the-park]
There are many strange clichés in all cultures. English has its fair share. How about this one, "Life's a walk in the park!" This means that life is easy and pleasant. This is a wonderful state that we're all supposed to aspire to. Apparently.
Well the more people I get to know - really know - the more I realise that I don't know anybody for whom this is true.
Scratch under the surface a bit and you find that all people or their friends and families face battles against poverty, ill-health and all manner of sorrows. None of them have a life that is a walk in the park.
So, should we abandon the dream? Yes, I think we should! The exaggerations of marketing professionals, fashion gurus and media moguls set us up to expect the unrealistic. When the unrealistic is continuously unattained, disappointment and disillusionment can set in... and even despair. Far better, then, to choose a better path - a path of realism.
The path I recommend is a path through the park. Not a walk in the park, but a walk through the park. By this, I mean the conscious decision to take time to enjoy the park each day. The 'park' can be anything you take pleasure in. Your loyal and adoring pet. Art. Music. Nature. Whatever your 'park' is, is must be cherished each day, at least for a few precious moments.
One of my parks is the park! There's a recreation field at the top of our cul-de-sac. There, with space to grow and be itself, is a young oak tree. I get a ridiculous amount of pleasure from pausing and just looking at how well it is developing this year. I haven't seen a single other person pause and enjoy this feast for the senses. For many, it seems the park is an interruption between where they are now and where they are seeking to get to.
May I recommend a walk through the park? And when you do take up this recommendation, may I suggest you pause and drink in the sensory feast prepared there for you? The clouds, the trees, the grass, the birds...
My desire is that, in taking a walk through the park, you find that your life might just become more like a walk in the park.
A Moodscope member.