This morning was beautiful – an overcast thin and pale, a breeze slight and easy, warmth from the east countering cool from the west, and streets quiet and empty. Beautiful PNW morning. On early mornings such as this when I am between projects and work and chores, walking is even more appreciated than at most other times. When I encounter no one else on the roads my mind wanders to previous walks or hikes. As I passed a large, healthy stand of sedum in a hefty rockery, my mind wandered back to our first hiking trip to Canyon de Chelly. Heat surrounded us like the reflected images from mirrors front and behind – infinite shimmering heat. And dust. Duct as prevalent as rock in the canyon. I remembered that sweat evaporated as soon as it appeared. Our packs, soaked with sweat, dried as soon as we took them off our backs. Instant desiccation. And beauty. Stunning, surprising beauty. Surprising to see shots of green in such a brown/red/orange world. And then I came upon a blast of color that shocked me out of the desert and into a beautiful garden.
I found myself walking into a high-end neighborhood – north and west of my neighborhood by a couple of miles. Homes of manicured lawns, perfectly pruned old shrubs, gates locked at the driveways, and large homes with expansive views of Puget Sound. Not like my street which is filled with unique and original landscapes – few of them manicured (thank goodness). It reminded me of our long walks in England a few years ago. Soon, I passed a meditating frog which took my thoughts to Japan and the countless small shrines we passed as we walked along city streets.
Three miles out, my stomach growled. But that garden in the block ahead called me forward with a blast of golden yellow, and I walked on.
Time to cross the street and head back home. I thought about our next small trip coming up and the chores I need to finish before we leave. By this time, I was getting hungry. A peanut butter cookie came to mind. I thought about the coffee shop a few blocks east of my street and decided to head there. On the way, I passed one of the lovelier examples of color contrast on this street. I look forward to this garden when I take this route.
As I turned up the street towards the coffee shop, rabbits appeared. We have many in our area these days, but these two are better behaved than most.
Soon enough I entered the coffee shop. A long line of customers (it was 9:30am after all), and this time I didn’t see cookies. My turn at the counter finally arrived, and as I ordered my coffee I asked if there were any cookies. “Yep, we have one peanut butter cookie left.” It was meant to be!
I wish you good walks, happy memories, and a treat to sweeten the road.