Wednesday, 7 May 2014
The Listening Walk
It was such a strong urge, to get out, clear my head, find the rhythm in my soles; they were squeaking. The overwhelming need to feel underwhelmed. Sometimes it all gets a little too much, sometimes I just have to stop, to quit the thinking, to shut down the task.
I'm dressed in lounge wear; black yoga pants, neutral sweatshirt, a blue jacket and raspberry crocs dusted in dried earth from weeding the borders. Casual clothes for a casual walk. There's a slight chill and the lightest breeze, but in the sun it feels good and warm, like I'm wrapped in an eiderdown of yellow feathers. The streets have that dozed-out feel, stationary and quiet, the tuned-out lull of a bank holiday weekend. I close my eyes and walk slow, with purpose, filtering the life around, stealing the detail, all the sounds and smells, trusting in my feet as they scrape against loose and buckled pavement...
... Husky wood pigeons and a crow, its caw-caw'ing like a shrill firework. Children's voices behind a garden fence, the bounce of a ball, the lower tones of parents, library murmurs, and the charcoal aroma of a BBQ. I stop to take pictures. A dandelion head, an iris, the pink tree. A woman is vacuuming her car, dried blossom crunches under my shoes; I love the crisp sound, the disintegration, the brown powdery afterthought. Some driveways are precise, manicured, while others are overgrowing in weeds and sky-blue forget-me-nots. I close my eyes again, hear water slosh and music thump, the guttural rumbling of a light aircraft over head and a bus engine's old-aged strain as it climbs an easy hill.
I need to make more changes, prioritise my yoga practise, cut down on sugar and wheat. I've been thinking about a fundamental change in my diet; I'm drawn to the paleo way of eating, I was thinking of trying it for a month over summer. I like the thought of hormonal equilibrium. I used to wake up at dawn and meditate for an hour, a graceful beginning that assembled me for the day. Then I had a baby, and motherhood became the eternal contemplation. On my shelf sits a book, Buddhism Plain and Simple, perhaps I need to read it.
Another walk, this time early evening, a dusky walk in melon light. Again in yoga pants. Again in squeaking crocs. I close my eyes and think of the moment, full of birdsong and the smell of spring warmth rising. I open them and watch a pigeon fly low over telegraph wires and bungalow rooftops, like a fat grey missile. I have my camera, and take another picture...
What do you do to chill?
I have been shortlisted in the Writer Category of the Britmums Brilliance in Blogging Awards (BiBs). If you enjoy my writing, please vote for Older Mum in a Muddle; I would love to make the final six.
My seasonal linky, #oneweek, returns 19-21 May, and it's spring! For more details, take a look here.