A Story of . . .
Portland, record albums, comic books, handbags, dancing, dining, and diets
City sidewalks, where anonymity meets adventure. Where walking alone is accepted and walking into open doors not only expected but encouraged. Last Saturday I walked the length of Congress Street (well, really a portion of Congress, from State Street to Elm Street), and was intrigued by all the sandwich boards along the way. After treating myself to a slice of pizza at Otto's I did a bit of window shopping, visited a few galleries and made my way to the library. Here's some of what I saw . . . some bargains, some love, and a tasty invitation.
SprinG, just FoUr DAys AWAy
AnD, The croCus are UP
. . . CaUgHt mE by sURprise
WhEn thEY caUgHt my eYe
Walk About is a collage and poem series about what I see when I walk, and is part of our Always a Project series.
I HeARd the CaRDiNal siNGing before I saw it, PerCHeD in the BiRcH tree
— a CAt LOOkiNG At mE, LOOkiNG at iT --
And, ONe mORe SAP BuCKet, that maKes ThreE.
It turns out a collage was the best way to illustrate my morning walk. I was impatient, trying watercolor, drawing, and nearly let it go until I spotted some paper bits that resonated with the theme. Lucky papers.
Rather than label it with words, I chose one symbol, some shorthand (the line and dot in the lower right). One word, do you know what it is? I know two people who might . . .
January is nearly over, and there are subtle changes; it was nearly 5:00 yesterday afternoon when I noticed the light. The days are getting longer. I'm glad about that.
When talk of the weather comes up, I often say that I don't mind the cold of winter. Not usually. Though I'm no fan of a cold dreary day; the cold seeps in and seems to bother everyone when it's dreary outside. But when the sun shines, it takes away some of the chill. A lot of the chill.
Morning walks are my favorite. The air is fresh, there's a quiet only morning knows, and it gives me a chance to experience the seasons, each offering its own blend of sights and sounds.
Last week, just after coming inside from a bitterly cold morning walk, the phone rang. It was my brother down in Nashville. We talked about how cold it was—down there and up here. I mentioned my walk, and told him I noticed the birds were singing. I was surprised to hear the birds singing on such a cold January morning.
"They knew you were coming," he said.
It makes me smile every time I think of it and each time I talk about it. And I think he's right. Nature greets us when we take the time to see and hear what it has to offer.
Click on the image above to download and print the birds . . . it's a coloring page.
ACORNS AND GOOD KARMA
1) It's a banner year for acorns. The squirrels and chipmunks are scurrying about as though they are at an all-you-can-eat buffet that's closing in ten minutes.
They're frantic. Darting about with stuffed cheeks (really, one chipmunk had an acorn bulge, right cheek), they're busy, busy, stashing their bounty, getting ready for that cold and snowy winter that's been forecast.
Who needs a forecast? Just keep an eye on "Rocky" and "Alvin" out in the backyard.
2) Found money, good karma. Yesterday I found a quarter and slipped it into my sneaker. Whether it's a quarter (found 7 one day!), or just a penny, I always stop and pick it up—good karma for the finances.
What do you notice when you walk? Let us know, post your thoughts in the comments below.
*This column is an offshoot of a story I wrote from observations made while walking my dog Agatha. She was a short-legged, droopy-eyed, big-eared, scent-sniffing basset hound. Agatha liked to sniff. And stop. And stop and sniff again. I spent a lot of time waiting, and while I waited I noticed things.
I still like starting my day with a walk, and thanks to Agatha, I'm still noticing things.