It All Happened During a Two Hour Walk . . .

It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining. The birds . . . well, I think they are still down south because winter is supposed to be here right now, but it felt more like fall. I could hear the chatter of kids down the block. Maybe they were riding their bikes or perhaps just playing in a yard. I couldn’t see them. I just heard their voices, not even their words.

I stopped at the bridge. I took a little time to stare at the slowly moving water as it meandered its way from here to there. I could hear my sister’s cheerful voice, “Grab a boat!” We’d both go in search of a fallen leaf. Not too small, not too big. A little curve is good, but a flat one might work as well. You just don’t know until you drop it and watch it flitter slowly down to the water hoping it lands where the water is moving and not in one of the still pools. We cheer as our leaf boats disappear and run across the street to the other side of the bridge to see if ours made it to the other side. It is here we stop for dreaming and reminiscing. We watch the water, checking for leaf boats – our leaf boats. Great cheers come whenever we see one even if it isn’t our own. Success is great regardless!

A walk from street to street looking at the neighbor’s houses. All different. It’s why we chose this location. No cookie cutter homes here. All as unique as the people whom reside within them. Some with dogs. Others with cats. Yet, some probably have no pets. Homes stand tall and grand. Others seem lonely even though we know people live behind their walls. It’s an older neighborhood slowly turning over to the next generation of homeowners. We watch as moving vans drive up and older people move out. Estate sales go on for days before remodeling begins. Months later, the house goes on the market. It will become someone’s dream home just like it was for the ones before them. We experienced the same thing. We understand. Yet, I still ache a little as I watch the change. So many years of memories packed up in boxes and sold for cents on the dollar. Memories attached to rooms and holidays within walls that someone somewhere will have to carefully store within a brain that seems to lose hold of such things as the years go by.

Steps taken. Lost in thought. Wondering, dreaming, planning, wishing, hoping, or just thinking – pondering the moments of the day. The beats of my heart quicken with the rustle of the leaves. I stop. I look. I listen. There it is again. It’s quick. It sounds much larger than it really is though. I see it. The long, skinny tail – a lizard. J.T. would know the kind. He’d probably chase it around until he either caught the poor thing, or it got away from him. I smile. In these brief memory moments, he’s still a little boy and not the man he has become.

People run by. I’ve seen them before, but I don’t know their names. I suppose they live nearby. Not next door, but somewhere. I suppose it’s sad we don’t know everyone on the block. I’m sure it hasn’t always been like that. Perhaps in the days before evil seemed to lurk around every corner neighbors knew neighbors for blocks on end. Now, we watch each other come and go and make their way from here to there. We might speak with a polite “hello” or a generic “How’s it going?”, but a conversation isn’t really had that often.

Those down the way still have their Christmas decoration up. That’s good. See it doesn’t make me feel so bad when I flip my light switch on in the evenings and my Christmas tree lights up. My décor is usually down by now, but I’m dragging my feet. Maybe because it’s been an unusually busy season or perhaps because today when I could have taken it down, I chose to watch a movie with my husband instead. Or maybe it’s because the decorations still hold some Christmas magic I’m just not quite ready to let go of yet.

Dusk comes and night follows. A two hour walk that wasn’t even a walk. Not really anyway. Just movement of the brain – a walk down memory lane. Old ones. New ones. Moments in time. Here briefly and then gone.

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