Think to yourself one last time as you drain your coffee from the mug, “My back is killing me.” and say aloud, “A real good walk is what’s needed.
Forget about the scathing essay you just finished writing regarding Donald Trump and the Parkland school shooting.
Have all day long to walk.
Open the window of your third floor apartment and feel for what the weather is doing, then check your phone app to verify what it’s really doing. Leave the window open.
Eat a little something even though you’re not the least bit hungry. You’re going to need it.
Choose your minimalist shoes so there’s very little between the earth and yourself then get yourself dressed.
Bring your phone so you’ll have your camera app then ask Cameron McMonocle if he wants to accompany you today. The answer, of course, is “Yes!” And of course, he’ll have to earn his keep.
Cut across the big, soft, straw colored lawn to the seawall and check for crowd numbers.
Choose your direction; East if you’re able to walk on water, West if you prefer a residential flavor, North if a crowd suits your mood, South if you desire a lingering solitary moment with nature on a late winter afternoon while the sun blazes down on your cheeks. Add a light northwest breeze gently lapping at the slightly exposed back of your neck while you anticipate how warm those sun rays will feel on your way home.Choose South.
Flex your hip. Bend your knee. Softly touch your heel to the ground, slowly roll the sole of your foot until your toes touch the earth then lift and repeat. One foot then the other, real good.
No thinking allowed and no thinking aloud, except to speak to strangers. This is encouraged on a real good walk. There are those who aren’t aware of this exception, but they catch on if you smile enough. As you walk you may notice, if the ground is soft, hard, bumpy or smooth. Cold or warm? Is the surface even or uneven? On a slant, a curve, a slight incline, a decline? What lies beneath your foot as you step? Be kind to yourself. Trek along the soft natural edge of the road instead of it’s hardened pavement. You may even find yourself listenening to the sound of your footstep as it touches the ground. Do you hear the crinckle, crunch of curled up leaves, remnants of seasons past? A squishing sound from the soggy ground, of all that recent dreary rain? Or do you hear nothing at all? Keep your deaf ear to the road. Do you hear the bird call? The Mourning Dove cooing his love song, the Cardinal, little sparrow, the swish of the light wind passing by your hearing ear. The sound of the distant waves washing up on the rocks and dragging the smaller ones back into the sea? As you wander you may encounter, out of the corner of your eye, a chipmunk scurrying along a stone wall or a gray squirrel or, the white puff of a deer tail hopping deep in the wood. If you are walking along Ocean Rd. and you look over that old decrepit stone wall as you head south, you might spot a trail which you never knew was there. You might see a blue blaze on a tree. If so, go ahead and climb over the wall to the trail. Follow it to where you’ll find a fabulous surprise; the first green sprouts of the coming season hidden amoung the birches and pines, in the middle of a secret path! Ask Cameron to take their picture, the trees as well. Continue along the path until it reaches a spot that’s far too muddy for your minimalist shoes, then happily turn around, climb back over the wall and carry on with your real good walk.
Keep your head held high but don’t not so high that you fail to notice the lowly but heralding skunk cabbage poking through in the wetlands that go unnoticed if you’re doing anything but walking. Also, so you don’t step in anything of a stinkier canine nature that you don’t want to scrape off your minimalist shoes.🐕
Hear the bells of The Christian Brothers chapel as they chime. Stop. Really listen.
Arrive at Scarborough State Beach and think, think aloud, because you can’t help yourself, “OMG What a glorious day! I’ve forgotten what a gorgeous beach it is. What a peaceful place to live. How miraculous that I’m here to walk it, see it, hear it, feel it.” Walk along the beach, all the way to the end. Sit down in the sand, lay down on your back. Sift it through your fingers, watch it blow away. Dip your bare feet into it. Feel it’s warmth. Wait for Mr. McMonocle to take his photos. Walk back, walk North, walk slowly toward home. Notice the stone walls and how deliberately they were built, every one so different than the other. Wonder who specifically built each one. Touch them, feel the textures, feel the moss that grows between the stones. Notice the different moss varieties on the ground. Wonder again why that tree trunk has those wierd warty things all over it. Feel the warmth of the sun on your back and feel the earth under your feet. Feel change as it happens. Wave to that guy who honked and hollered a catcall to you. Wonder when and why that became a bad thing.🤔
Arrive at Monahan’s State Pier No.5 and as you round that bend to splay flat out on the picnic table and rest your weary feet, look into the deep blue sky to the East. Be shocked to see a nearly full moon already standing out poetically against the azure backdrop above Brenton Point and the sea on the horizon. Know that these are only a few of the reasons why you love this place and that nothing will ever dim this light.
Smile. You’ve enjoyed a lovely, real good walk. 😊Dim
Short stories, essays, poems, prose and photos about life, adventure and misadventure; love lost, found and in between. Oft times accompanied and narrated by Cameron McMonocle.
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