Monday, May 21, 2007

sunday walk

Sunday still at the cottage. Mary took tomorrow as a personal day, so she doesn’t have to go to work tomorrow. That makes for a much more relaxed Sunday evening. We seem to be the only human inhabitants left along our stretch of road, since most of the cottages and homes here belong to weekenders like us. They have all headed for home and work on Monday, while we get one more evening of relaxation in the quiet solitude their leaving has given us.

I just returned from my evening walk. Our cottage is located at the start of a deadend road which extends along the north side of the lake for just under half a mile. Walking to the end of the road and back is nearly a mile, or a substantial trek for someone like me who is slowed by Parkinsons Disease. It takes me about 35 to 40 minutes to make the round trip, depending on how energetic I am at the time. But there are substantial benefits to moving that slowly.

By strolling (ok, maybe shuffling is a more apt description of my locomotion) along at such a leisurely pace, I get to notice things that those of you who are faster would overlook. And I don’t spook the various wildlife inhabitants of the roadside environs as would you helter skelter,hellbent, power walkers. The squirrels and rabbits and other little critters note my passing without alarm, since they probably figure that anything moving that slowly poses no danger to them. So they seem to smile and nod to me as I pass and then go on about their critter business undisturbed. There are those other creatures along the way that choose to stay hidden from view, but I know they are there because my shuffling gait does not obscure the sound of their rustlings in the long grass and shrubs that line the roadside. The twittering of the birds and mating calls of the insects harmonize in a choir singing one of nature’s finest arrangements. I like to think their song is for my enjoyment alone, since I am taking the time to listen and appreciate the effort.

The colors of early evening, the sun just beginning its daily descent, are more striking in the contrast of lowered sunlight and deepening shadows. The leaves on the trees dance in the breeze, twisting from sun brightened yellow green to dark forest green as they turn and bounce the sunlight among themselves. The lowest plant life hugging the floor of the woods is already losing its sense of dappled green color, fading into the night version of green that is almost black. The crowns of the highest Maples wear the halo of the last bright rays of the setting sun, while I make my way back down the driveway to my door in the fading glow of the new evening.

How much did you notice on your evening walk? Moving slowly does have its advantages.

1 comment:

The Rev. Dr. Kate said...

I walk in the mornings - and usually at a good clip. But I stopped several times this morning to smell the lilacs along the way!