I am walking in my neighborhood again. It is the closest I will come to Nature, as I do not get out of the city much. I would rather be in a national forest or state park, but this simple act works well to combine healthy exercise with a brief outdoor communion. All I need to do is step outside my front door.
My neighborhood could never be called "cookie-cutter". You may find a grocery cart, a brightly painted home, a bicycle vender selling ice cream, a fallen fence or an unmanaged yard, but this diversity is what I like about it. In all, most of the 1950's homes are fairly well kept, with a cultural richness that truly comforts me. Walking through is an adventure that tells a new story every day.
One of the first things that attracted me to my neighborhood was the innumerable, mature trees. After Hurricane Ike a few years ago, and then the drought of last year, many of these beauties were more than compromised, especially the tall pines. This one caught my eye one morning, as it stood against the changing sky,
black birds resting and conversing on its lifeless limbs.
It is particularly satisfying to share this photo (below), as these trees clearly survived the extremely parched 2011 in
Nature takes over quickly. If someone isn't culling out small trees and plants, a yard will soon become overrun, but this may not be an issue for some homeowners. I am certain a unique few like the hidden quality… kind of a private sanctuary. A few things come to mind - a recluse, a naturalist, an eccentric soul, a penniless dweller, a lazy gardener, or perhaps the home is simply abandoned. A part of me wants to let my yard go wild, but I would prefer to put in an organic garden.
planters, flower pots - the list is endless, at least in my neighborhood.
In a neighborhood this large, there are many garage sales. Some individuals seem to have far too many, which by restrictions should only be twice a year per household. I am sure they did not get that memo. The hardest signs to view are all the lost pets - mostly dogs. I have also lost one of my dear family members in this vast neighborhood.
Speaking of dogs running loose, they often do in this area. Is this true of most neighborhoods? Some years ago I stopped walking in mine because all too often some sad, tired and very thirsty puppy would follow me home.
I like to think about how this area will look like in a thousand years. The neighborhood will be under layers of soil and fauna, long ago forsaken for higher ground or some other reason I hope not to know about in the near future. There will still be remnants of those who once lived here… perhaps a few impressions left in a freshly laid sidewalk. These paw prints (above) were probably from a doggie that lived 50 years ago. This sidewalk is part of the original grid that was built when the houses were first going in. I admire it whenever I walk this particular street, stepping over it like it's some sort of precious, archeological find.
Did I mention I need a good pair of walking shoes?