Feeling, Living, Photographing

On My Walk

April 30, 2015

walk1walk2walk3walk4Being 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.

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  • Reply Renee May 1, 2015 at 7:02 pm

    I love that you take the time to really BE where you are. To take it all in. I get so caught up in the idea of being somewhere else, dreaming of “greener pastures”, that I forget to notice the beauty that still exists around me. Glendale has been my home for nine years, and I don’t love it. There are places I pass by all the time that I’d rather forget, and I want new places, new scenery, a new perspective on the city. I’ve never lived anywhere for more than five years except here, and since I’m still here it feels in many ways like my life is the same as it was when I was 23…but I’m in a new relationship, new outlook on life, and I want a new place to reflect that. But meanwhile I realize I’m not being in the moment, not getting out into the world, and instead sitting inside quite often and dreaming of something “better” despite how lucky I am.

    And yet I know it’s only when I leave someday that I will realize the beauty of my neighborhood. I will miss the mountains in my backyard, the lemon tree outside my window, the safety I feel when walking alone at all hours, and the bright purple tree outside the elementary school across the street. I’ll miss our lovely, kind, quiet neighbors, and my favorite breakfast restaurant. True, it’s time for a change, but in the meantime I should learn to BE here, because someday I won’t be here.

    • Reply jtao21 May 3, 2015 at 1:50 pm

      “I should learn to BE here, because someday I won’t be here.” – TOTALLY. And ain’t that the message for life?? It sounds like you want a change, and I don’t think change is bad at all… I’ve just found the whole “wherever you go, there you are” to be true. Sometimes our environments are not good for us, but it pains me when I see people bouncing around, changing external things, instead of clearing out their inside world, y’know?? You’ve totally done just that and I think all of the work you’ve put into creatively building the life you want totally calls for new scenery! Cheers to enjoying the transition.

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