La Strada | Mark Lindsay

In hindsight, after a tempest I can always see it—the mark on the trail, the warnings, the storm brewing. It seems so obvious. That is the way of the path. Seldom does anything really smack us unexpectedly. When there is trouble ahead, there are signs. Always.

It is the unconscious mind that cannot see the stirrings of life. It reminds me of a mundane conversation I once had while walking the streets of Venice. I was with a chatty friend who insisted on talking and talking and talking. A half hour later I suddenly realized that I'd just missed a half hour in one of the most remarkable places on earth. It's that way when we don't pay attention to the path. We just float along, consuming air. It's like eating junk food.

Walking can be the great tonic. One can walk away most any perplexing situation, any dilemma, any care. I can get lost on a path and dissolve into it. I find there the most amazing things. As if wise gremlins were at work during the long night, I imagine exotic and mysterious symbols along the way. I suppose if I were truly enlightened these symbols might speak to me and tell me what might lie ahead. It's as if they were the hexagrams of the i Ching.

Life flows when I am aware of what is directly before me. I guess that's what being streetwise means—knowing the street.