It was mid afternoon when I dropped the car off to get its snow tires removed, and I was so excited about the walk home ahead of me. I had actually been looking forward to it for several days, truthfully. Why, might you ask, would I be so excited about an hour’s walk home when I could have someone come pick me up and drive me home in a matter of mere minutes? For several reasons, really, but most of them were realized in my rambling journey toward home.
First of all, the most practical reason was that I needed the exercise – and it feels SO wonderful to be outside again in the world creeping towards spring, instead of coped up inside in front of yet another work-out video. It was also pleasant to have a new route to traverse instead of the all-too familiar one around my house.
But, secondly, as I walked home through random neighborhoods, it brought back memories of my childhood – spent mostly on the streets of that dear little town until every house, crack in the sidewalk, and bushy shrub was memorized. So many of the houses I passed this recent afternoon reminded me of the houses in my childhood, giving me a cozy sense of comfort and familiarity from the past. It also made me realize how very little time I spend outside now just walking and enjoying life and the outdoors for the sake of it … what was once a common occurrence of my childhood is now something strange and unfamiliar, sadly enough.
However, the greatest reason I loved my walk that chill, cloudy afternoon was all of the descriptive observations popping out at me around every corner. I realized that as a writer, I need to take these walks more often, for all the beautiful words that jumped to the forefront of my mind as I passed through each colorful neighborhood! Such places are ripe fodder for the hatchings of storeys or settings of storeys (hmm … was “fodder” the right word to have chosen right then?). Everything from the black and white pussycats grooming themselves on a wheelbarrow handle until I approached, then quickly scampering away to their refuge of a house … to the delightful house that sprawled in all directions, gables and decks and windows and doors all patched on every which way as though there had been no blueprints involved in the making of it … to the random plastic daisies twined around a bus stop sign, seeming almost to be an attempt of cheering the world in anticipation of spring … each new observation was a delight to my senses as I tried to capture them all with words in my mind. Country music greeted me as I passed a man cleaning his yard (we exchanged friendly greetings) … kids shouted in the schoolyard as they waited for parents to pick them up … mailmen walked from house to house with the daily post … older kids passed by on scooters or bikes or walking dogs … occasional raindrops pelted the pages of my open book (so I didn’t observe the whole walk! 🙂 … then I almost got lost because of my phone conversation about being a substitute teacher this week … ahh, it was a delightful experience for my soul, and one I must definitely learn to repeat. If only life could always have these wonderful, free, roaming afternoons. I think my mind would be much more at peace if it could!