It was another Saturday morning to savor and put in the memory books for when the weather turns ugly down the road. I left early, and it was still a little chilly, but nothing like yesterday, so I made the big concession of leaving the gloves at home, but I wore the sweat suit.
I headed down to Council Point Park and it was nearly deserted, which I thought was odd since it was such a beautiful day. I heard the birds singing loud and strong as I strolled along, while the geese were grazing quietly in the baseball field. The squirrels might have been sleeping in because I never saw a single one, and I had tucked a Pink Lady apple with a tiny worm hole in it in my pocket just in case my favorite furry friend crossed my path.
As I merged into the second loop, where it is more open, and finally, after walking solo on the trail for a good 15 minutes, I saw a woman walking the opposite way. I asked her where everyone was and she said “they were here earlier – I’ve been here since around 6:30” … hmmm, well – it was only 8:15 and I really didn’t think I was too awfully late, and I hardly would have termed myself a “slacker”. Nevertheless, we chitchatted a bit about walking and the weather, and I decided to turn myself around and walk the way she was going rather than stand there with her growing moss, especially when we there for the purpose of walking. We finally introduced ourselves and our conversation went here, there and everywhere and we covered alot of ground, both dialogue-wise as well as on the Park path. We kept pace and went around one complete turn, then she was going to leave to drive home, but we were so engrossed in our topic, she said she’d join me for another loop. She finally left for her car and I stayed on the path, checking my pedometer, as I walked. I had already done about 3½ miles so I decided to embark on another go-around. This time I met another nice woman and we launched into a conversation that branched out after discussing the weather (always a common topic amongst the walkers), and, as we were walking along we spied some movement ahead of us on the path. She grabbed my arm when she recognized it as a garter snake. Well, we didn’t shriek or shout “eek!”, but we delicately picked our way around it, then watched it from afar as it slithered slowly along the perimeter path. It got a mite too close and I noted we both unconsciously picked up the pace at bit, lest he decide to join us. We parted ways and I decided to head home.
While walking home I mused about my conversations with my two fellow walkers. We all go to the Park regularly, yet we’d never met before, and none of us knew the name of other walkers whom we see regularly. Park walkers reference others by names such as “The Pole Walker”, “The Rollerblader”, “The Jogger”, “The Chocolate Lab Walker” or even “The Couple Who Push Their Dogs In a Stroller” … interesting. I wonder how others perceive me? Am I “The Picture Taker”, “The Bird Whistler”, “The Squirrel Feeder” or “The Geese Provoker”? Good question. Everybody has a nickname of some type – my parents never had a pet name for me but I was known by “Little Sister” in my close-knit group of high school girlfriends since I was the baby of the six of us. As to monikers and nicknames, I thought about Elvis, as he was on my mind having heard some snippets of his most-famous tunes on the early news this morning, as they marked the 37th anniversary of his death. He had many monikers – he was “E”, “EP” and “The King”, and, of course, sometimes he was just plain old Elvis. I guess he didn’t need a last name, like most of us do.
By the time I made it back home, I was pooped. I walked six miles today and didn’t even realize it ‘til I glanced at the pedometer. Today’s steps took me over the 300-mile mark. I have walked 303 miles in 2014 and only driven my car 168 miles. Onward and upward as I strive to stride 500 miles before year end. Hopefully there will be many more beautiful mornings like this one to get ‘er done, though I’ve watched the leaves on many of the trees in the Park slowly turning a golden or red hue, as you see in the above picture. I’d like to prolong Summer forever, but that can’t be done, so in the meantime I’ll just enjoy it one day at a time as Calvin and Hobbes suggest below:
“We’re so busy watching out for what’s just ahead of us that we don’t take time to enjoy where we are.” – Calvin & Hobbes