September 24, 2009

this week I've taken to running first thing in the morning, before I can talk myself out of it. in the mornings it's usually overcast even if the sky clears later in the day. my route takes me up the hill of our road, past houses in various states of upkeep or dilapidation. the neighborhood passes fleetingly from character to character; on the other side of 39th, there's a pocket where I think I could spend the rest of my life: quiet, tree-lined, the occasional basketball hoop set up on the side of the road, the houses all different from one another but lovingly tended. the kind of place you imagine you would have fond memories of if you'd grown up there as a child.

there's something delicious about exploring your neighborhood on foot, something I think we as a culture have largely lost. I have such fond childhood memories of walking hand in hand with my mother to church on sunday mornings. the sidewalks were pitted and cracked and as a young girl they presented such a fun game of hopping and tiptoeing and avoiding. trees' roots thrust through the concrete. dandelions grew in the cracks. I made a deal with myself when we moved to this place that I would take more walks, and commute more by foot. it's a hard habit to form: it's so much more time-consuming than driving, and time is the thing I am most often lacking. running helps.

this morning there were so many things to see: a woman walking in a red coat; an orange cat sitting on the railing of a porch; a blue door; several red doors; a man in black track pants walking his dog; a group of young children playing on the playground during some sort of morning recess; a hummingbird in search of food; an empty swingset.

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