Go ahead and pour, June.
I’m enjoying a breather.
Feeling rested, getting back to walking, the spinning in my head is slowing down.
I am beginning to feel whole again.
The trail feels good under my feet. It’s been too long since we’ve spent some time together. The feet of a runner behind me makes a familiar rhythmic sound as she passes.
I say, “Good morning.”
She can’t hear me. An ipod is firmly strapped to her arm. She is wired for sound. I think of a future in which ipods are chips imbedded under our skin. We can turn them off and on at will. I shudder slightly to shake off the sting of this thought. My mind turns back to the runner and the trail. Deaf to my good morning, to the call of the killdeer, the hum of tires skimming over pavement, she runs past me as if I were part of the landscape just like the dead branches of scotch broom that lie along the sidewalk.
A smile flashes across my face when I think of what she is missing. Gratitude fills me as I walk and listen to the sounds all around me. This is engagement and it is sweet and warm. Taking a deep breath, I enjoy the air that is delicately laced with a lazy morning dampness. My senses have come alive without an ipod to revive them.
The trail unfolds under my feet. I come alongside a chain link fence. A small wren lured by a young woman with her hair in a neat little bun flutters within the perfect frame made by the links of the fence. The spaces between the wires are more important than the wires themselves. This is how it should be. We should always know what we are fencing out and what we are fencing in by the spaces in between.
The little wren calls to the young woman from its perch. As the woman walks on, the wren flutters to a closer link and calls again. It happens once, then twice, then again and again.
“That little bird seems hopelessly in love with you,” I say.
Talking of love to strangers early on a Sunday morning seems a bit bold and possibly rash. What am I thinking?
“I’ve never seen a bird do that before,” she replies with a smile.
“Nor have I,” I say.
The bird and the moment pass. We all go our separate ways. In that moment, nature and talk of love met in a pair of smiles. I’ve missed this trail, the sound of birdsong, the chance to carve a space for myself upon the trail that divides the earth from the sky. This trail feels good under my feet. I will walk again.