When I joined a walking in the woods group, I was pretty sure there would be both walking and the forest/ woods. What I did not count on was the ferocious walking these ladies do! I had to stop twice and then met them in the coffee shop where we stop after they walk–I’m already there. Great encouragement for me to walk more! I do enjoy exploring the woods, trees, plants by myself, but I don’t actually exercise much that way. This way? I am HUSTLING to keep up. There is room for tree-shopping and fast walking. I am not quite a fast walker nor a long walker yet! Let’s see what the loop walking does to me tomorrow!
From a year ago… places and memories…
I hold back, reluctant to get on the train. The train—a practical method of transportation. Leave the driving to us. Quick, mostly reliable. I can read during a train ride. I can daydream, as long as don’t fall asleep. Easy way to get to the new doctor’s office.
But the hold of place, the memory in the body of place.
This is where I used to get off the train and meet Earl, walk and walk and talk and talk away the day. We’d discuss teaching, life, family, everything and nothing. We’d talk about Ruth, his dearest friend for decades—how they loved one another but could not live together. We would go book shopping and I’d meet yet another member of his huge extended family. To meet Earl was to meet many wonderful people.
This is where I used to get off the train and meet Ruth, walk and walk and talk and talk away the day. We’d discuss teaching, life, family, everything and nothing. I helped edit her book, helped teach her about computers. We’d talk about Earl, her dearest friend for decades—how they loved one another but could not live together.
They are both gone now.
And I feel it in my body, this grief. And I get off the train to what—to no one.
I walk towards the doctor’s office, hoping he is busy and running late. I pass no bookstores on the way.
Train to no one.
All photos used with permission…. just a good way to start the day. Books, beautiful books! Found a wonderful site… https://www.pexels.com/ with beautiful photos free to use. If you have a blog or just love beautiful photos, it’s a good site.
Don’t you want to read here? I do. (Kindle out!)
This rough draft came out of a challenge to use the expression “an encirclement of birds”.
(First draft) Encirclement of Sparrows Roar like a train through the living room extra blankets on windows, surely frozen shut. Power lines down heat off, lights off, all shut down. Move away from the windows, he said. I want to be near when the sun rises, she said, You know me and sunshine-- I’ve got to-- I know he said, I know, and they huddled under yet another blanket and shut down. Listen, she whispered, hours or days or moments later, I hear the sunrise. Gray light through the curtains, and then tap, tap, tap on the tree branches scraping the windows an encirclement of sparrows.
For the students: