I walked down to my local post office today, to mail a few things like one does, and my father decided to accompany me. It was nice, though hot and muggy as the east coast usually is in the summer, but we got to stay mostly in the shady areas and that was enough.
Honestly, I don’t walk places nearly enough. The American worship of the car has trained me to believe that I must drive everywhere, and when I walk somewhere I’m reminded of how entirely untrue that really is. This morning we got to greet a number of people with a friendly ‘morning’ and a smile We peered into the windows of the antique stores and admired the nearly right angle of a tree branch in the park that seems almost as if was designed to be a seat— if it wasn’t almost 9 feet off the ground. There were birds and squirrels and the guy at the plant store was out front watering everything while they opened up shop.
We stopped for coffee at the tiny local market, and I had to smile because the same guy was behind the register as the other night when we walked past to check their hours after they closed. That time he ran over to explain the odd hours (city blue laws restricted their hours because the market part is nearly all beer and wine) and that sort of small town attitude just makes me happy, and I never would have experienced it if we hadn’t been walking off our dinner.
So now I’m home again, a bit tired and sweaty because damn, the humidity is killer, but I’m happy. My father and I are richer for our experiences in human interaction, and healthier for our walk, and better off for the coffee and scones we got at the market and the book he picked up at the local Little Free Library. I’m going to have to remember to get out there more often, not just to drive to a hiking trail, but just to walk down the street. There’s this amazing little pizza place…