It started with me weighing myself on a scale that had no inclination of lying to me. I was horrified. I had managed to disregard the fact that the jeans were becoming a bit —okay, way too tight— but the digital numbers brightly announcing the pounds that I had gained were hard to ignore.
I have never been good with gyms and now, with the pandemic, I was even less motivated to go. But I’ve always loved walking and it was time to start again. And it would do me good mentally too.
Near the apartment is a wonderful trail that does wonders to transport me to another world. My walks the only alternative to traveling for now.
Not many steps in I encounter an unkempt stone wallI and the writer in me spins tales of a lost civilization being desecrated, the only vestige of their existence this stone wall that did not properly protect its people. A few more steps and my mood is echoed by trees that seem to cry with me expressing their sadness of these people’s demise through a strange vine, weeping willow style, that hangs from its branches.
I later come across an old stone gate and wonder what it may have welcomed in some time past.
My mind, continuing creating tales, takes me on a survival trip where I must find food as the grumbling of my stomach grows louder. A burst of red , and another indicates that I would not die from starvation. Or would I die from popping any of these in my mouth?
There’s another kind that resembles a very inoffensive blueberry.
And then come the signs that I am not alone. Someone has been making little canvases and putting them along the path.
Each makes me smile and I commit to making one of my own to attach to one of them so as to thank “CM”, for making my passage pleasant.
I encounter a painted rock that reminds me of a group of “rock painters” that a dear friend, Grace Kono-Wells created – Random Rocks of Kindness – their rocks meant to be put along various paths to brighten someone’s day. Her beautiful “Breathe” rock probably has reminded me more than once to take a breath. The painted one on my path, “mask up”, gives us a much needed reminder of the life we lead now. The sign on its side (Nottely Hidden Cove) is displaced, for it seems to belong to a farm in Georgia that oddly advertises as “a great place to social distance” so I figure it is somehow appropriate that it be paired with the “mask up” rock.
There are other signs that tell me where I am and to where not go. Others that give out a set of rules so long that my enjoyment would be marred should I stop to read it all.
The woody trail ends, I cross a street and follow another path that leads me into an expanse inviting me to go further. I cannot resist its beckoning.
Turtle alert! In other short walks I have come across some turtles. One, named Jacinta (we are in Latino-land and she deserves a Latino name). Please don’t ask me why I denominated her a female for I’d be at a loss to answer. And another that was named Jazmin. She had yellowish markings on her shell. She was quite pretty.
This one I believed was a “he”. Again, no rhyme or reason to my gender designation. I know nothing about turtles. I get real close and his eyes get squinty and he begins to go into his shell. I take another step and he surprisingly comes out again, opens his eyes and seems truly comfortable with my proximity. I’m touched by his trust. Or is it his naiveté?
I continue on to owl-land. Part of the sign announcing: “Our nest is a mess! We keep trash near our nest. Do not remove.”, makes me laugh and I am reminded of a hoarder I once met and of another that is his exact opposite. Funny how my travels -be they of any kind- seem to remind me of past and present lives lived, and those that populated them.
The same way that the manmade signs along my path have bettered my mood, the flowers along my way seem intent on competing for my delight. There are those that show off in a burst of color very similar to the sparkle firework sticks of my youth and those that resemble slender bells, and there are the leaves that seem to try to outdo the flowers in shades of green and red.
And a papaya tree which reminds me of one -actually two- that my parents had in their backyard. Images of times that will never be again flashing so vividly that they stop me in my track.
My steps grow slower as my heartbeat grows faster with the memories but lessens with images of a sunset that my camera does no justice to.
And because I have promised to end my blogs (and because you have at least scrolled up to here) I give you two songs.
One from Alfred Sheppard (who I had never heard of before) and Mandy Harvey, the deaf singer with a heavenly voice, which wowed pretty much everyone at America’s Got Talent a few years back. We should all fall into our dreams.
The next one by J.P. Saxe ft. Julia Michaels. I love the original song all in English but this one with a singer I had not heard about, Evaluna Montaner, is not bad. Besides it gives my Spanish readers a way to understand the song.