On Today’s Walk: the Nightmare Before Christmas

My son-in-residence consented to walk around the neighborhood with his old mom today. We live in an interesting part of the city and always find something new to catch our attention. The neighbors did not disappoint today.


Mix of Halloween & Xmas decorations
There’s always something to celebrate.

Carved tree stump
Just hanging around in my jorts.

I should note the skeletons and tree stump art are not in the same yard.

A Poem and Yesterday’s Walk

The trees I saw on yesterday’s walk inspire me to share a poem I wrote.


Tree Envy

Instead of dreary gray strands threading subtly widening paths
about my head,
I desire blazing red 
for my autumn color
interspersed with patches of can’t-peel-your-eyes away yellow
and clusters
of an orange so perfectly sun-toasted
it holds its own as an independent hue
not remotely a blend of the other two.
I wish for the colors to burst
out all at once
so that people I meet
will feel their breath catch
at the splendor,
the glorious culmination of my maturity.



~~~

On Today’s Walk: Urban Wildlife

City deer

Today’s walk happened in the last 40 minutes of sunlight. My neighborhood is not too far from downtown, but also not too far from a couple of trailheads that go into a wooded corridor.

Barred owls were calling to each other. Whoo-hoo-hoo-HOO. Whoo-hoo-hoo-HOO. Where are you? I’m here. Like my husband and I yelling, “What?” to each other from different rooms.

And the neighborhood gang that has been raiding yards and gardens was caught in the act (see above.) I’ve watched these young ‘uns grow up during the course of this year, having seen them first when the two tawny ones were awkward spotted fawns stopping traffic in front of my house.

I don’t know why it surprises me when animals adapt and make their homes in cities. I’ve done the same thing, after all. I can’t begrudge them too much for the tomatoes they’ve eaten. They left us plenty, and we humans keep taking more and more land for buildings. They’ve got to feed the family somehow.

~~

On Today’s Walk: Perspective

Lately, I’ve been pretty exhausted by my job and things. Stuff. Events. Tasks. Overthinking. Worry.

Normally I work Tuesday evenings. But I had some vacation time to use, so I’m able to blog instead. I couldn’t have better timed my ask for random hours off. Gorgeous evening for walking and trying to focus on the miracle that is every day nature.

Amazing how life can look so different if you change your vantage point. Perspective is a heck of a thing.


Lily


On Today’s Walk: Love and the Quotes You Read Along the Way


Strolling about the neighborhood today, I ran across the above sign in someone’s yard, a quote from one of my favorite authors, Ursula K. Le Guin:

“Love doesn’t just sit there, like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all the time, made new.”

This is from her novel, The Lathe of Heaven. I know I read it many years ago, but I forget a lot a the details. What I remember is that the main character is a man whose sleeping dreams change reality. But nobody else seems to notice.

This quote, though. It’s so true about the nature of love. It requires intention. There are other sayings along the same line that I’ve found to be true as I go through life. Here’s one: love is a verb. Don’t recall where I read that, but yes. It’s not a vague warm glow, it’s got to be active to have any positive effect.

Here’s another: Love is a choice. You choose how to treat someone. There might or might not be a pleasant emotional feeling while doing so. But the more you make that choice, the more likely you are to develop a pleasant feeling about it. At least, that’s my experience.

Actively choosing to find ways to reach out to our neighbors while we’re all separated is love manifested.

On Today’s Walk: All Shall Be Pandemic

A friend recently asked on Facebook, “What did we even think about before COVID-19?” What indeed? I’m trying to remember. Baseball, I guess.

I’m doing an okay job most days keeping my equilibrium, but it’s impossible not to ruminate on coronavirus when it’s influencing every facet of life. All shall be pandemic, and all shall be pandemic and all manner of things shall be pandemic. That’s how it feels at times. Anything and everything I encounter is now viewed in the context of one particular disease, even when I get a long walk on a very nice morning.

I mean… Normally, I would pick up trash, but hard pass this time.

I don’t play the lottery, but it’s when times are most uncertain that I’m tempted to. Someone didn’t win.

There’s something more dangerous than climbing.

I feel bad for families with young children who don’t have yards.

But it’s not all complete despair. This is part of a mural along the MKT Trail.

I will try to remember this.

“All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.” — Julian of Norwich.

On Today’s Walk: Local History

Since nearby nature trails all seem to be crowded enough to make physical distancing a challenge, I’ve been sticking to city streets and sidewalks. Today’s walk had an education theme, as I decided to traverse a portion of Columbia, Missouri’s African American History Trail. I did not make it to all 37 sites, but I found a few of them. Maybe I can make it a project to visit all of them before my workplace opens again.

Historic, and recently restored Blind Boone Home.

Blind Boone House, Columbia, MO

The rest of my photos from the walk are just informational markers. But it’s interesting information.



Here’s an article about the building from 2017.


On Today's Walk: Artistic Expression

Did a two-mile afternoon stroll this afternoon, under cloudy skies this time. I found some interesting art. People find all sorts of ways to be creative.

I’m drawn to rocks and rock balancing. It looks like someone had fun in the woody area next to their house.

A few more blocks and I found this:

The same yard contained an eye-catching rainbow pinwheel.
https://youtu.be/ATNdMKN8VSE

You don’t always need expensive or complicated supplies to create art that speaks to others.

On Today's Walk: Spring Anyway

Despite everything going on in the world with humans and viruses, spring is not in quarantine. It’s a little chilly here, but the sun is out for the first time in days, so I ventured out for some fresh air, taking a short walk around the neighborhood, maintaining space from the many other folks I saw out doing the same thing. To be honest, a friendly wave from the distance is my preferred level of social interaction with most of my neighbors in normal times. Not that I dislike any of them. I’m just awkward and introverted.

I found it interesting that I saw as many pedestrians as cars out today in my mile-and-a-half amble. There’s a silver lining, I suppose.

And there are a few little groceries coming up in my yard and others.

Henbit

Henbit really is edible. I’ve snacked on the flowers myself a number of times. Check out Edible Wild Food for more information on which parts are safe to eat.

I’ve never researched magnolia trees, so I don’t know if they do anything other than look beautiful. If not, that’s enough. The blooms are starting to open.

Magnolia tree

The world continues to function, more or less. Humanity is only a part of it.