I walk by her side, and the darkness lifts from my soul. I walk with her, and I hear the gentle beating of mighty wings.Neil Gaiman, Sandman #8: “The Sound of Her Wings”
Sometimes, not very often (insert 2020 joke here), I’ve had the luxury of traveling for business – and even rarer than that, such travel has included time for wandering. My trip to a cyber security law conference at Georgetown University was one such anomaly, which I spent walking down to the National Mall on a gorgeous, sunny afternoon … and walking back that evening through a flash flood downpour. Ah, DC, you Michigan copycat, you.
Wandering without a clear destination (also affectionately known as, getting lost to get found) is one of my favorite pastimes. So often my journeys are in the company of others — companions, kids, an extended family entourage — but there’s something distinctly powerful about setting out on my own, Google Pixel camera app at the ready, and letting the character of a place make its appearance. Best part: no need to apologize for constantly losing my way — my sense of direction and I are old, aimless friends, and we figured out a long time ago that there’s no such thing as “going the wrong way” when you’re wandering.
I’ll close with a few snaps from that afternoon. My hobbyist photographer training voice told me not to take these shots – everyone takes this shot, they whispered – but then, I took the shots. And once you take these shots, you have to share these shots, I whispered back. At which point, they pouted in the corner, and begrudgingly admitted that I am right.
And so it goes.