Tag Archives: walking

Friday

The buzz of the city washes over me as I open the front door. The pups and I step out for our morning walk and, compared to yesterday, we’re two hours late. I don’t normally walk this late, but it is Friday, and I don’t have to teach today. Being awake for awhile in the middle of the night doesn’t help either, but that’s ok… I’m in no hurry. We step onto the street, our shadows stretching onto the pavement. Everywhere are the sounds of the morning commute, the rush to work, to school, to wherever. We walk, quietly, but for the jangle of dog hardware… clinks and chings… Bear mountain is nowhere to be seen, even though I know it’s right there. It’s shrouded in the valley haze. The sky is a pale blue, not that deep color I love, and streaked with contrails from east to west, horizon to horizon. We walk and walk. I pull the dogs close as drive-time cars pass, people on their way to eight o’clock. We turn the corner and my shadow stretches across the street to the opposite sidewalk, mirroring my each step, and each of the dogs. I hear a commotion off overhead. At the pinnacle of a pine tree to my left is a hawk, sitting on the very tip, and he’s being harassed by crows. They’re not afraid of him, they’re easily his size. But he doesn’t flinch and holds his spot looking over the neighborhood. The crows finally give up and head for another tree and I, too, forget about the hawk for now. It’s not much further on and I hear a whooosh! and the shshshsh of little wings right overhead. I glance up just in time to see a flock of little birds swirl and dive out of the way of a dark bullet. The hawk is only a blur as he dives through the clutch of birds… I can’t tell if he will be having breakfast this morning… I stand there in awe of the morning… of this sight, this small spectacle that takes place, even as the city purrs and groans and shakes on it’s way to Friday.

Awake

I was up early, so I got the pups up early for our walk. Just a little after five, and we’re out the door. I’m sure the wife thinks I’m crazy, but I was awake and couldn’t sleep, and if I’m getting up the pups usually get up, too, so… out the door we go. It’s warm out this morning, warmer than it’s been. I have a long sleeve shirt on over my t-shirt, and by the end of the walk even that feels too much. I am already missing the winter. And before anyone responds with how bad a winter it’s been, I live in California and we had an exceptionally dry winter and we’re facing the worst drought on record… so, yes, I will miss winter, thank you. But there are clouds overhead… so maybe we’ll get some sprinkles? I can hope… so I do. And we walk in our neighborhood, up the hills, into the little gulleys, along the sleeping homes… and, even at this early in the morning, I see neighbors out for their morning. A lady walking here, a man on this street for his exercise… and, of course, the usual dog-suspects are all awake, warnings coming from behind fences and in dark back yards. The pups and I do our thing, still, and continue on our way. This morning little Jack is lagging a bit, so I slow my pace a little. He’s the eldest of the three. And he’s the smallest… not that you could tell by his spirit, though. Jack will try to dominate a Great Dane… I know, I’ve seen him do it at the dog park! But perhaps today he’s not quite feeling himself… Cathi and I watch for little hints as all three of our pups are older now. But he still loves these morning walks and is always eager for them. He gets so excited I can hardly keep him quiet in the mornings… On and on, we walk, we listen, we watch, we walk… Even this early, the neighborhood is awake.

Yes

Woke up a little grumpy this morning… But the pups didn’t care and wanted to go for a walk anyways. Who am I to argue? It is crisp and clean out this morning… But for some clouds in the skies, making for gorgeous sunrise, I can see all the way to the circle of mountains at this end of the valley this morning. It looks like the Tejons got a dusting of snow at some point. I didn’t think it had been cold enough for that these last few days… But I could see all the way back up there to the pass and that ridge between us and L.A. and there’s a nice white sprinkle, like confectioners sugar across a cake…

Dawn

A beautiful morning and a great morning for a walk with the dogs. Cool and breezy… And the skies! The clouds in the east were aflame with color from the approaching sunrise. Deep crimsons… As we walked, all I wanted to do was stop and watch… So I did. Several times. Each time I stopped and turned to the east to see how the dawn was unfolding, the colors in the clouds changing… Reds… Then orange… And then peach… And I wondered, as I walked with the pups, I wondered… Am I the only one to see this this morning? If these moments weren’t so fleeting, would I still stop for long looks? And as it passed, I wondered, over the next hill, the next mountain, is someone standing there, now, looking to the east, watching the approaching dawn, mesmerized as I was, breathing in all this glory?

Pink and Blue

I got up and walked the dogs before dawn…. The moon, both this morning and yesterday morning, was big and beautiful in the early darkness, hovering in the west, done with its nightly journeys… The dawn was big and open and blue, oh so blue…. With one lone pink contrail bisecting the skies overhead, piercing into the east. I love the way the sun, before it arrives, lights up and colors the clouds in the morning… And so often, these visions I get to see, these smiles from the Universe, from Spirit, only last a few minutes, sometimes not even that… And I stop, me with the dogs, and I look up into the morning and just watch, just look, and I say thank you…

A Cold Walk

It’s cold, and dark, and grey… and still the birds sing… There’s no doubt it’s winter, as the pups and I go for a Friday walk. It’s a little later than usual, and we have the benefit of some daylight on the streets. Everywhere there are mini drifts of leaves, in the gutter, against that fence, beside the parked car. The trees are all mostly bare now, but for a few of the evergreens in the neighborhood and the one or two trees that always outlast the first frosts. Mostly there are just bony fingers, pointed up, reaching into the sky, as if to claw at the clouds, to tear open a whole in winter. And the birds sing. And sing. They’re happy despite the impending rain. A neighbor passes on their way to work and smiles at the sight of me and three dogs, and waves. We continue, trying to avoid the drive time rush around us on the more heavily used streets. And we turn onto the quiet little road with the curve over the hill. You know the road, I talk often of this road. It’s the road that starts the walk towards home. It’s the road that crests, the road with the view of Bear mountain. But today there is no view. There is only the grey clouds and there is only a chill wind that makes me wish I’d brought my scarf, and I pull my corduroy jacket a little closer, and I try to pull my hands up into my sleeves a little farther. And we head back down the hill, to the turn north, and onto another busy street, and on towards home, and light, and warmth, and hot coffee. And still, the birds sing!