Tuesday, September 29, 2020

What you think you know


I am participating in the
 Slice of Life.  
All participants are writing about one moment, one part of their day, 
on Tuesdays.
                                                        Thank you, Two Writing Teachers!

Walking directly behind him on the path, to stay to the right and make room for runners and cyclists going by, I decided - out of boredom - to see if I could walk exactly like him. You know - adjusting my legs with a little skip, a forgotten step, so that we might step simultaneously, right foot forward, heel down, left foot, step, exactly together, at the exact same pace. It took me a moment or two to get in step with him. It felt very, very silly. I was amazed by the almost instantaneous memory from many years back, when in college, of goofing with a friend in this same way, trying to see if we could mirror each other in our walks - how much we laughed! It was also SURPRISINGLY hard to keep up, to walk EXACTLY like my husband, my walking partner of many, many, many years. We don't focus on one another in this precise way typically. There's no need for it; I'm pretty comfortable in my skin, with my gait, and he with his. 

I was reminded, once again, of our uniqueness. Isn't it extraordinary, no two of us exactly alike?

I was reminded, too, even though it feels as if I am walking the same places every single day, there are always new things to see and do - no matter how small, how trivial. 

We were astonished by this tree find on a recent walk, just a couple blocks away:

Neither of us had ever seen a tree with such fruit - oblong, seafoam green, soft...what in the world? I love the feature in Google photos that will identify what you are looking at: photo taken, and we learn we are looking at a Pawpaw tree. National Park Service, National Capital Area adds:

One of the most tasty late-season rewards for hikers and wildlife alike is the pawpaw fruit, which begins to ripen in late summer and peaks in September and October. The flavor of pawpaw fruit is often compared to bananas, but with hints of mango, vanilla, and citrus. The fruit has the ungainly appearance of a small green potato and may occur in clusters on the tree. 

We realize, September has never led to walks in this part of the neighborhood; we have never wandered this way. Every September has been filled with back to school demands, that rush of overwhelming "to do's." Yes, this IS a silver lining of the pandemic, finding new treasures in the most ordinary of places, looking at the familiar in new ways.

My third and last example of looking at the world in new ways while walking: my two year old granddaughter regularly lives out, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Her latest obsession: POTHOLES. Right in the midst of a walk, right in the middle of a street, and much to my astonishment, she just sits down and "reveres" each of these - and there are many! 

Who knew that potholes are akin to creek beds, in that they typically have a bounty of small rocks and gravel? What two year old doesn't love a new rock? She helps us to look at the world in new ways.

She keeps us smiling! 



  1. I need to use the photo identification tools more often. Denise also wrote about a walk today. Both you and she make me think about the benefits of the pandemic. I’ve struggled getting out of the house since having had Covid. Thinking about what Im missing motivates me to go for a walk and see what there is to see.

    1. Yay! A walk sounds great in your beautiful area, Glenda! How are the fall leaves in your neck of the woods?

  2. Maureen, what fun! I love the playfulness of your copying the gait of your husband for a bit. It reminded me of that little stutter step we would take to get back in line during drill team.

    This line was my favorite: "Yes, this IS a silver lining of the pandemic, finding new treasures in the most ordinary of places, looking at the familiar in new ways." I agree. I have felt strangely a little more alive during the past six months instead of just surviving.