Every morning one of my first tasks is to walk two of our three dogs around the block of our neighborhood. Its an enjoyable walk for both dogs and myself – the dogs to get out of the confined world of our property and take care of business, and for myself, its a form of meditation. The added plus is that I get to run into our neighbors, who walk, jog, or walk their dogs around the block too.
We live in the Mar Vista oval – rumored a racetrack for dogs long ago, so the ghosts of the past are with us on this path. The oval was divided into two half circles – north and south, each half circle 14 of a mile, and we live in the north oval.
We begin our walk on the SE – South side of the oval, which is the sunnier yang side. It’s filled with warm sun from morning to evening, and there’s a street with cars driving west towards the beach or east towards the freeway. It’s a good beginning, the SE element is the wealth/wood element and there is lots of activity; its spring renewal all year round, the dogs are energized, and they trot or run, often greeting new friends to sniff at. We turn the block and head Southwest, and then West, and there’s an immediate hush; the noise of the South dims, and I can tell we are headed in a different direction. The West is where the sun sets, so if we walk in the evening, there is a nice red glow in the sky to admire. West is the element of metal, and is it my imagination but are there more metal fences on this block? It is cool and quiet here with towering palm trees native to Los Angeles, and the dogs settle down to a quiet trot. As we proceed Northwest and North, our walk turns yin, and it’s so quiet we can hear birds of all kinds chirping. I love this side of the oval, and I watch our dogs get contemplative. I truly believe the yin period of life – the darker, quiet side, is important because we get the chance to pause, relax, and re-tool. I take a deep breath and breathe in the chlorophyll from the plants and forget whatever stress I have buried in me. For the moment we all enjoy the quiet. The dogs patter together, and the three of us listen to the surrounding sounds of nature – the birds, the fountains flowing, sometimes even the wind.
And then slowly our walk changes as we navigate around the oval and head Northeast and East – and if it is morning, it is where the sun begins to rise. It’s the dawn of day, the wood element, and there are a lot of trees here. In the morning, it’s where life begins, and in the evening, all is quiet, and it is dark. There’s lots of grass here and the dogs enjoy exploring and stretching their legs.
The walk continues back to the Southeast where we started — the wood element, and we see once again the familiar bustle of the South yang direction ahead of us with light and the bustle of traffic. The circle is complete.
It’s yin and yang in the neighborhood with our two dogs, and we love it.
In gratitude, Janet Mitsui Brown, www.thejoyoffengshui.com
Photo credit – Janet Mitsui Brown