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Mindful : October 2016
I was walking on a warm September morning, lost in thought, listening to music through ear buds. I decided to leave the sidewalk to cut across the g rass on the outer edge of Battery Kemble Park. The air was fresh and crisp: Presumably, the trees continued their dutiful business of absorbing gases and cleaning the air. That is when I saw it—an acorn, lying on a cushion of moss, half hidden beneath twigs and fallen leaves, not far from the veins of tree roots. The sighting was not surprising. After all, I was under cover of a few tall leafy oaks that stood guard at the northern open- ing of the forest. My senses had been preoccupied with the rhythm of walking, the sounds in my ears, and the path ahead. But my eyes fixed on this tiny acorn, half exposed on the moss. Right there, on the edge of the forest, I felt an awakening, a sharpening of the senses. I grasped it from the mossy floor. My acorn was topped with what looked like a fitted tweed flat cap and a centered curv- ing tassel. The elegantly tapered egg shape, about the size of a raspberry, had evaded the dirt and grime of the forest ground and glistened as if it had been painted with liquid copper. As I held the acorn, my eyes traced the gentle curves of its bor- ders, the dips and bumps that marred its wooden surface. This near perfect nut contained a world of potential: Food for a hungry squir- rel. The beginning of an impressive oak tree. Instead, it lay in the palm of my hand, bathed in sunlight that broke through the canopy of branches and leaves. That morning, an acorn broke my stride and opened my eyes. ● Encountering an Acorn Illustration by Min Gyo Chung 84 mindful October 2016 mindspace notice what you notice Kira Medish is a senior at the National Cathedral School Washington, D.C.