Pretty, pink peonies in perfect pom-pom shapes, and purple varieties a plenty. There were peach poppies too, but I particularly prefer the orange ones.
Splendidly landscaped yards and envious raised garden beds with new plants thriving, enjoying the warm weather that has finally arrived. Taking mental notes for my yard.
Two young runners approaching in the distance. Soon I hear their footsteps behind me and their labored breathing. Then I see their long ponytails swinging like a metronome arm, keeping time as they quickly disappeared out of site.
Swallows, swiftly swinging circles as they chased each other like planes in a war movie. A fat, black crow scavenging the grass where bits of snacks and lunches have been absentmindedly left in the field.
A lady with her tiny, toy dog on a leash. A young man with his arm crooked like a gentleman, and a bent over old woman holding on. I smiled at the beauty and kindness and imagine he was a dutiful grandson, lovingly enjoying quality time with his grandmother.
A young couple on the opposite sidewalk; mom pushing stroller and dad walking two dogs. I hear barking dogs; a small “yippy” one in particular that is letting every passersby know who’s boss. I hear bird calls and songs of unseen and unknown types of birds and wish I knew how to identify them.
I spot a small thunderhead, rising in menacing layers and ringed, like a nuclear cloud. It has pale yellow and peach colors which I know is reflecting from the setting sun. Gazing now at that sunset, I am in awe. The clouds above the mountains are outlined in a glowing fire-like ridge. The rays of the setting sun spread out and reach toward the heavens above and cast glorious shadows on the mountains below. Breathtaking. Every time. Sunsets are my favorite.
Deep in thought, prioritizing my to-do list, I hear a soft “tinkle” from behind. I hear it again and know a cyclist is announcing his approach with the bell on his handlebar. I find the bell endearing. It’s a middle aged man. I grin.
New, soft, pale green needles of a pine that I pass, as well as the bubbles of sap oozing from a tree nearby tree presumably under attack. There is a allegory here I’m sure. Life, growth, death…
My dog slows her pace, crouching as she walks, her ears lifting to attention. I see it now, a raccoon, scurrying into the culvert ahead. I pull the leash tight and charge forward on our path.
Trash. This section draws my eye and my ire. Why do they have to litter? This will be an excellent service project for my son, or better yet, we can do it as a family.
At home I see the lawn that needs care, the flower beds that need weeding, the porch that needs sweeping, and sigh.
It was a simple 30 minute walk through my neighborhood. Yes, I could have pulled weeds, but look what I would have missed.
I observed. I listened. I pondered.
I cleared my mind and put things in perspective. I took time to notice and appreciate the beauty around me and be grateful.
I felt the sun’s warmth as the day was coming to an end and smelled the sweet, fresh air that carries the hint of blooming flowers and freshly mowed lawns.
I feel more grounded, more present, more in control. For a moment.