I have now lived here for about six months, and today was the first day that I have finally walked in the neighborhood. Usually I walk at the park, or to the public library, but not once have I wandered through the the quiet streets and small roads here in this new place. I have some lame excuse, that for the first two months I was packing and unpacking and cleaning and organizing, physically challenging but all indoors essentially. Then we had rain pretty frequently, though when the weather was nicer the pirate and I hiked up to our tree, and since Christmas it has snowed considerably more this year than last and all the shoveling, which can take two days of heavy labor to clear out, both our house, his aunts and moms and the back of the house, but also it was this weird fear of walking in a strange place. Do other people have this thing, where they have to be sure of their surroundings before they begin to explore them? The other lame excuse was that sometime around the middle of October, I discovered the meaning of the song lyric “died with a toothache in his heel”, plantars fascitis is a mean bitch. But then today I said, no this is the day, I must walk in this neighborhood, because I have not been exercising enough, and this is the first step, literally, in carving out time to do this thing that I love so much.
The dog stayed by my side the whole walk, like an old man companion, I will miss him, I know, in the time which is fast approaching when he will no longer be up for these small adventures. But for now we appreciate, together the quiet streets, the pretty little houses, the heavy cowbell wind chimes, and then as we emerge onto a busy street, we both move more quickly and then slow down again as we take a shortcut across a sycamore lined driveway and big field. After we trudge up the wooded pathway, he stops in the street and looks at me and smiles. Not quite two miles, but a whole pile of pink cheeked and furry black faced pleasure.
We will walk these hidden streets again.