I often like to take a short walk through my neighborhood to refresh my mind, relieve my screen-weary eyes, and reactivate my posture. Every time it’s a beautiful experience of simple details, delighting every one of my senses.
Starting on our narrow path, I follow the curves and turns of the walkway, passing bright green slopes and quaint backyard porches. Trees of all kinds pepper the lawns and neighborhood parks. Evergreens and oaks and many others I cannot recognize by name but know by characteristics and repeated encounters, like the peeling trunk trees and my friend with the thick knarled trunk. Each one sways with the crisp cool breeze as if welcoming me to look up and applaud their beauty. Their branches are full of delicate birds flitting about singing cheerfully and showing off their lovely feathers in the glimmering bright sunshine.
Caught up in the performance above me, I stumble over a piece of lifted cement where a strong tree root had tunneled underneath. Laughing out loud and sheepishly looking about to see if anyone had seen my daydreaming trip, I gather my balance. I spend the next few steps gazing directly in front of me, re-familiarizing myself with the process of walking.
The creatures on the ground are just as entertaining. Lizards scurry away as I draw near, dogs bark—to say hello or scare me off, I can’t really tell, and cats walk fences and simply watch me with their serious poker faces.
It’s simply me, alone, on the path and it feels incredibly peaceful. My thoughts drift into prayers of gratitude as I breathe in deep the fresh coastal air and let out a soft sigh of contentment.
The path narrows with slopes and bushes hugging a little tighter. Wafts of jasmine and gardenia catch my attention and I scan my surroundings for the source. A rich dark green bush with petite pearly buds catches my eye and I make my way over to stick my nose as close to a bud as I can. With a big inhale I savor the aroma, hoping to make it linger. I will return for a flower once it blooms.
Making my way home, I walk briskly, filled with eagerness to work again and write down a few creative thoughts that formulated during the walk. As I approach the final stretch, I pause momentarily to reach out and touch the inside of a peeling tree’s bark. It’s so spongey and soft, not at all what I expected. The bark is more like a fabric than wood. Resisting the urge to take some home, I give it one final look and continued on. A few strides later I’ve reached our home. Pushing open the gate with glee, I head straight to the kitchen to start boiling some water for tea. A good walk must be finished with a sipper of some sort, I tell myself.
Moments later, with a steaming cup of tea, a peaceful heart, and an enlivened spirit, I am ready to face the remainder of my day.
À votre santé!