I love maps.
I love to read them.
I love to plan my journey.
I love to save us time.
I love to be able to answer the question: “What is there to do here?” or “How long til we get there?” with authority.
I love to spend my time wisely, what with how short it always seems.
I love all that.
And, I love to drift.
Last spring at the School of the Womanly Arts, a panel of men was collected to answer questions from the women students. A handsome young man in his 20s was asked exactly how he got to his seat there on that panel. He erupted with appreciation that he had only been “Urban Drifting” when a lovely woman stopped him on the street and invited him to participate in this part of the curriculum.
Urban Drifting? What, Regena asked, is that? He spoke about being somewhat aimless in your walking and to pay attention to the energy of the place you are in and follow that energy.
Uncharted wanderings may reveal unexpected wonders.
Now, to some, you may ask, what the hell is energy and how do I follow it?
I often drift with people now. I explain the energy thing as just listening in to what your heart asks for or just follow where you feel right going, or if something catches your eye, walk in that direction. Even if you land in a café where you had not expected to sit, something in your subconscious asks it of you.
In August, we were in Siena with our new friends. Being unfamiliar with each other’s touring styles and wanting to get to know them better, I suggested “Urban Drifting” as a way to not over-plan our hours together and allow us the chance to walk and talk and just let the day reveal itself to us.
In that ancient beautiful city, there were things to see anywhere we turned. By not standing in long lines to see this or that site, we opened up our hours to wandering.
What we did see was marvelous.
What we did not see was likely also marvelous, but we learned many things about each other, drifting through conversations and stopping in shops or churches or plazas to tell a story to the group or just stand quietly until something pulled us onward.
Then, with these same friends we drifted Munich, Germany where we found, tasted, and saw many wonders.
My family has caught the drifting bug.
This past weekend JB and I took our 12 year old to the Big E. It is a large exposition sort of fair. Now, I grew up in Escanaba, Michigan, which is the home of the UP State Fair. I have drifted there with my Mom through buildings housing chickens, pigs, farm implements, timber displays, 4-H crafts and more. I love a good fair. (Stay tuned here for the story of my Blue Ribbon from the Orleans County Fair in August.)
But, I drift.
At the Big E, when we consulted the guide and considered where to start, Catherine shrugged, saying, “Let’s drift”. We wafted through the “Better Living” hall and emerged with new hair thingies that we love, called Hair Magic. Then, before you knew it we were pressed up against the ring around the Draft Horse show in the huge convention hall. We stood transfixed by the horseflesh and excitement of wagons being pulled by gorgeous 6 horse teams, running right past our noses.
Unfortunately, 2 of the 3 of us are allergic, but that did not stop Catherine and I staying to see our favorite team from Flat Rock win the $30,000 purse! JB sat out in the shade while we cheered the team on.
We drifted to the Ferris Wheel.
Then I sat and drew for a while, overhearing people talk about the parade at 5 pm. So after sampling the “footie wootsies” (no photos of this contraption, sorry), we stood and took in the splendor.
One more ride pulled us, so there I was swinging out over the heads of the fairgoers, flying. I used to upchuck on rides, but apparently being over 50 cures you of that ill.
Then we ate a really yummy lunch. Catherine made us promise to never let her buy another corn dog. JB and I had pita sandwiches.
Oh, we could not miss a drift past the Vita-Mixer display or some beeswax lotion samples. But, all in all, the day was complete; we saw a ton of cool things, ate not one nibble of cotton candy and left the fair satisfied.
How about you?
Have you ever drifted and not realized you were actually doing something?
I joined a group of 2, now 3 counting me, on Facebook, titled Urban Drifting.
Come on. Drift with me Baby.
PS There is a whole slideshow of these Driftings on my Flickr account. Just click over one of the photos here.