In that spirit, this morning we tried a new route. On the way to my sister's house we pass a recreational area that has been specifically developed for joggers, bicyclists and dog walkers. The setting is beautiful, of course it is-- this is San Diego. Marlowe doesn't take much coaxing to hop into the car--he never does.
As I am getting ready for the walk, I discover that one thing I always leave behind. This time it's Marlowe's water dish. Luckily, Marlowe's cousin has one that we can use. The park isn't far away-- but it is in that grey area of too far to walk to and almost too close to drive. Since I wanted to spend our time walking around the lake and not walking to the lake, I elected to drive. I know that in some sense that defeats the whole point of exercising, but I knew that after we were done, we-- or rather, I-- will probably go out and get a coffee afterwards. And for that I would need the car. Yes, routines don't seem to change just because the city has changed.
Marlowe did well on the walk. On our walks at home he doesn't run into many distractions. I wasn't sure how he would do with all the extra activity rolling by him. Bicyclists would whiz right past him and he wouldn't give a second look, although a couple chipmunks caught his eye and he thought twice about chasing them. I could feel the tension in the leash, should I? Could I? But the chipmunks were too quick and by the time Marlowe had made up his mind, Chip and Dale had scampered away, to live another day.
The cacophony of conversations mixed in with the beauty of the loon's call was the most striking thing about the walk. The deep, loneliness of the loon calling out across the lake was so very peaceful only to be shattered by a woman talking on her cell phone about her upcoming breast implant operation--I kid you not. I am walking behind this woman and she is spilling out all the details for the world--me. Marlowe, and anybody else on the trail--to hear. I tried so hard to get the sound of the loon back in my head, but it was gone. Is there no privacy left anymore?
Fortunately, we came to our halfway turn around point and she kept walking, unfortunately for those on the other side of the lake, she was still yakking away. On the way back we walked on the eucalyptus tree side of the trail. I let the fragrance fall over me, bathe me, and cleanse me. By the time I had taken a couple deep breaths, I heard the loon again. Order was gradually being restored. Marlowe and I stopped for a look out over the lake. Diamonds danced on the water, ducks dove, and loons lamented.
I took a deep breath, and let the stress fall away.