Some bit of time ago, I went to a chiropractor for an evaluation. This is one of those new-school kind of chiros that are all about energy flow and re-evaluating bodily patterns. I ended up not going through with the chiropractic plan, but I did go through an assessment. It was an interesting and colorful mix of charts and diagrams, detailing which way my body was doing what.
What I think of now is a bit of information they told me about my posture. It seems, that I carry my body in such a way that I do not carry the full weight of my head. When I developed this interesting quirk and why, I do not know, but science says so, and so it must be.
This came to mind again some minutes ago as I walked to the library. The familiar aches were persisting between my shoulder blades, and I sighed about what is surely the result of many years of farm and food service labor. Then I thought about this bit of science, and realized, I was looking down. Most of what I saw was the two sidewalk squares before me, the grass to either side, and some detritus strewn about. I noticed what science had told me, I was taking the weight off my head, but the price was a significantly modified scope of vision.
Chin up. I heard the phrase of family favorite movies and books. I lifted my chin and saw straight down to Main Street. In that one movement I realized that I had not walked this way in some time, perhaps ever. It was not that I did not look into the foreground, but before I had done it with my eyes, furtively cautiously. My new perspective was astounding. I had spent years, decades, watching the ground in front of me. Perhaps it helped me to avoid stepping in piles of dog shit, but most of what I had seen was just that. The shit. The ground. The cracks in the pavement.
I perhaps picked this habit up once because I realized I had been neglecting this particular view. I had been missing the pennies, the maple keys, the acorns and the pineapple weed. Perhaps my intentions had been good, but I had become lost in them.
The rest of my walk through town I no longer felt the crunching at the top of my back (although the newly utilized muscles at the side of my neck may for some time take their place). I saw more. I noticed more. I felt like smiling more.
Taking a walk alone is a time for experiment. It’s hard to notice which large portion of our personal possibilities we are neglecting. For me, it was up. So, a recommendation: If you are looking down, chin up. If you are ever confident with your chin in the air, look down. If you are always looking behind you, try to trust what is there will do right by you. If you see a nickel, pick it up, because around the corner there may just be someone looking for some change.