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From the October 2006 issue of The Christian Science Journal

IT WAS LATE SEPTEMBER, the first day of autumn. The lush leaves on the maples had not yet begun to turn. And not a single puff of cloud marred the deep blue New England sky. The verdant lawn in the spacious city park—breathtaking. And the sun's warmth, perfect.

On my daily there, I usually greet joggers, dog walkers, and moms pushing strollers. But that day, in the early morning quiet I passed ony one person as I strolled along a paved trail that loops around a soccer field and tennis courts. I was grateful not to be interrupted while taking in deep breaths of such loveliness.

At a bend in the path there's a row of shoulderhigh bushes, and whenever someone walks by, a big whoosh of startled sparrows take flight. Accustomed to this sudden appearance of dozens of fluttery wings, I'm no longer caught off guard. But on my third lap that morning, something different happened. Or maybe it's just that I was too keenly aware of my surroundings not to notice.

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