Being that I don’t feel well, Carter and I skipped vigorous exercise and went for a very long walk Wednesday morning.
We headed north through our neighborhood, the air chilly but the sun warm. We crossed a busy intersection at a light, walking up a steep hill. At the top of the hill you turned right and entered another neighborhood through a paved, tree-lined alleyway. Heading north again, we walked under a huge pine tree and turned east to continue on in this subdivision.
I love our neighborhood. We’ve lived here for 6 years, in the same apartment, and it’s the longest I’ve been settled since I lived in my parents’ house. It pains me that there is more and more traffic, that H’s commute is getting worse, that he has dreams of owning a home (not that we can afford any in Los Angeles), that will someday move me away from here.
I walk this route – about 3m for over an hour – with the dog a few times per month. Usually it’s when I’m feeling very tired and want to sink into a podcast. This particular morning, I didn’t listen to anything – I just walked and watched, grounding my energy, being in my world.
As I walked, I thought about writing this post because I know the simplest, everyday things change and fade. I know someday I will live somewhere else, that Carter won’t need long walks, that I won’t have the luxury of a morning like this. And I want to remember.
The succulents covered in sprinkler spray, the jacaranda blooming purple flowers, dropping them onto the side walk for the bees. The old man we passed in his khaki pants and straw hat, the kid skateboarding to school, the two women walking a dog. The way it smells so green and fresh as the sun burns off the water on the grass. How some people have turf lawns or drought-resistant landscaping, and then there’s always that one person hosing off a sidewalk despite the drought.
Then to the routine Carter and I have. I never take him off-leash, but if I drop his leash on the ground he won’t walk away. He stops to sniff a particularly interesting smell, I drop the leash, and I take my time framing a photograph on my iPhone with two hands. He usually sniffs longer than I shoot. When he’s done, I pick the leash back up, and we continue on.
I love my neighborhood, I love our homelife, and I love this life we’ve built and get to enjoy every day.