30 May 2010

Road to your soul

Wind in my hair
It feels like honesty

Usually, I walk in the morning. It clears my head to start the day, and I like the dew and cool. In summer, it's just practical.

But my favorite time to walk is Sunday evening, about an hour before sunset. Completely impractical in winter, since I'm usually busy at 3:30 in the afternoon, but lovely in late spring and summer when the sun finally disappears beneath the horizon around 8 pm.

Most people don't like Sunday evening. It's the start of another week of work and school. My kids tend to roll around and moan on Sundays. But for me, Monday is the resumption of peace of a sort. Generally, I work even harder on weekends, and there always seem to be more demands on my time. Though I work all week, too, at least the endeavors are more solitary.

So, I love Sunday evening.

But it's not just the return to quiet that I enjoy. There is something so perfect about that evening walk. Few people tend to be out, and the traffic is near non-existent. Where I saw wrecked cars in the middle of the street on Friday night, a solitary SUV passes quietly and without hurry. Rather than the roar of engines that I hear all week, there is the song of birds, chattering away as they head to roost for the evening. The people who are out seem far calmer, standing quietly watering a plant or chatting with a neighbor or saying a laughing good-bye to a visitor.

I like the briskness that the air picks up as the sun drops to the west, and the change as I walk along from sun-warmed wall radiant near my bare arm to the damp chill of a dim alley of trees. The sun sits over my shoulder and the lengthening shadows in the road resonate with memories of other sunsets, other evenings, other places.

My thoughts are my own this time of day, as I've usually cleared my accounts, done familial duty, solved whatever problems required solving. Even when the walk is a struggle, as it was tonight, even when it's painful, as it was tonight, I won't allow any care or concern to steal the moment. I'd rather let the scent of citrus blossom and wet greenery surround me even as I cautiously watch the uneven pavement than dwell on what my body can or cannot do.

And when I reach the summit of the highest hill I climb, I feel the reward of getting there, sometimes coupled with a view of Catalina in the fading light. Not tonight, though. Tonight, just the sense of accomplishment as I started down the slope. And the readiness to take on the battle of another week, to welcome what lies beyond that.

Go listen to some good music: "Road to Your Soul" from the album Scarlet and Other Stories by All About Eve. I was, of course, interrupted no fewer than five times as I tried to write this, mostly by my crazed family running around in the backyard with a night vision scope, and a crazed cat, who raised the alarm that set off the whole night vision escapade.

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