I had a half hour to kill the other afternoon before meeting someone in downtown Toledo for lunch, and I decided to cross the Maumee River and spend a few minutes walking along the riverfront. I did not view any vistas previously unseen by my eyes, but I found the early afternoon sunshine and light waves lapping against the piers to be calming, almost peaceful.
Toledo, being in the middle of the American Rust Belt, has far more than its share of problems, yet none of the political and economic crises faced by the city manifested themselves as I strolled in front of the restaurants at International Park. No mayoral recalls, no unemployment spikes, and no city revenue struggles bothered me as I walked.
My own problems also faded from my consciousness as I made my way along the eastern shore of the Maumee. Work could have been a thousand miles away as far as I was concerned, and neither health concerns nor parental worries about my adult children troubled me.
While I was in no way ready to burst into a manic chorus of "The Sound of Music," neither was I weighed down with the uncertainties and vexations that had been my companions just minutes earlier. I certainly failed to achieve what Zen Buddhists call satori, yet the peace of mind I gained continued to stay with me the rest of the day.
I vow to spend more time walking on the riverfront.