“Walking in silence was very nice. It removes the pressure of having to keep up a conversation, and allowed me to notice more.” New mindfulness walker, John.
Welcome walkers: Rachel, Mary, Marilyn, Megan, Sheila, and new walkers John, Linda, and Kathleen!
On a gorgeous crisp, clear morning, mindfulness walkers strolled streets of downtown Fresno – observing closely, carefully, intentionally.
Walkers began at the clocktower, strolled Fulton Street,then through downtown to Community Hospital, City Hall, Eaton Plaza and the water tower, the Galleria, Bitwise, and back to Fulton.
Walkers gathered in the plaza for a few minutes of conversation, and these are some of the reflections:
So many people out on Fulton Street this morning. It’s neat to watch Fresno wake up.
I love the contrasts of textures and colors, seeing the blue sky against the texture of buildings. The architecture downtown is remarkable – we need to capitalize on this – you don’t see this in other areas of Fresno.
It adds to the experience when we get to go inside buildings – see things I had no idea about. We saw the Veteran’s memorial museum, and met the veterans who volunteer. Went inside the watertower, which is a Fresno gift shop of wonderful local items and artwork. Walkers met volunteer Wendy from Fresno Arts Council. Went inside the Galleria and met business owner Naomi Hendrix of RawFresno.
So many little gems down here to see. Also so much still in decay and empty – needing lots of work. Still lot of shuttered store fronts – with the potential for businesses. The effort is adding up, and we are slowly getting there.
We saw people walking around looking at their phones – – then asked someone and realized they are playing PokémonGo, and Fulton and Mariposa are ‘hotspots’.
The amount of public art is breathtaking. When Fresno sprawled north, the downtown lost the neighborhood feel. When Fulton Street brings people back down here for shared experiences, I think we can get that neighborhood feel again.
Sounds: Train, fire engine, helicopter, blower, birds, people talking, bus, crosswalk message, Spanish music from stores, music from passing cars, birds, fountains, bicycle horn.
Walkers noticed smells: food cooking, grass on the sprawling lawn in front of the veterans’s museum – smelling grass is a reminder from childhood and years playing golf. Coffee. Exhaust from the traffic by the hospital. Marijuana. Trash.
It’s exceptional that we have Renzi and Renoir. Local artist, Joyce Akin, was the original artist of the small tile work on the benches. Joyce came back and polished all the tiles before the re-opening of Fulton Street. It’s beautiful!
Was so neat to see Terry’s House across from Community Hospital. Walkers shared that this is a place for families to stay when their family member is in community hospital. Very inexpensive to stay.
Seeing Fresno Unified district offices for Special Education and Department of Prevention and Intervention. Ironic that right between these buildings is a methadone clinic, where we saw about a dozen people milling around in the parking lot and on the sidewalk, some on bicycles, carrying bags, bedding, and belongings.
Walkers commented on the number of homeless people sleeping in front of City Hall and the courthouse, and around the Fresno Police Headquarters. Walkers met Larry who had slept on Mariposa Mall right in front of City Hall. He said he was just trying to stay warm.
Walkers shared these thoughts about practicing intentional mindfulness:
Mindfulness is using your brain in a new way, which stimulates new ways of thinking. If you are paying attention to what’s happening in the present moment, using all your senses, that’s mindfulness.
I had a blast. There was everything – art deco in the Veterans museum, beautiful tile on the floor I had never noticed. So much to see and notice.
Walking in silence was very nice. It removes the pressure of having to keep up a conversation, and allowed me to notice more.
I liked the reminder not to look down at my feet while I’m walking. Looking down allows my mind to wander and start worrying about next week. Keeping my eyes up helps me stay in the present.
To see photos from this walk, check Facebook or the Google photo album:
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