Taking A Walk


“Let’s watch the news” I say–War in Ukraine, political division, MAGA, abortion, voting rights, floods, gun violence, and inflation. Well, that was fun and uplifting. I’m going to go write. That idea lasts all of ten minutes. All I can think about is War-division-abortion-voting rights-floods-gun violence.

It’s now 6 A.M. and the sun is just coming up over the Santa Catalina Mountains and I’m going for a walk to get away from the TV, and to get my head cleared and some hoped-for new writing thoughts. Maybe I’ll get lucky and see something fun. Hell, it’s Spring in Tucson and the weather is beautiful, what could be better than that?

It takes a while to flush away all the negative thoughts. Thornydale is loud with morning traffic and louder Harley Davidsons. I leave behind some brain mush as I walk along the sidewalk. By the time I’m two blocks down Magee, the noise has been left behind and my mind is no longer filled with monkey chatter. I take out my small pad of paper and write a few notes for a piece I’m writing. Along the walkway, Arizona poppies, orange mallow, and pink penstemon vie for my attention. I have no favorite, each beautiful in its own way.

I walk on and another idea comes to mind for my writing. Mimicking the sound of dialogue I want to write, and as a first attempt, it doesn’t sound too bad to me. There will be several revisions once it’s on the computer screen, but it’s a good start. I’m smiling, and the walk on Old Father is pleasant. I pass a lady with a rust-colored retriever, and I remember my retriever, Aspen. She was beautiful, well-mannered and a loyal friend. Now we have Denni, a cute little rescue terrier that stole my heart the day she came home with us.

Another block and I’m passing a glorious Sweet Acacia tree. At least I think that’s what it is. Suzanne and I always say the small golden ball like blossoms remind us of a grandmother’s chenille bedspread. Whatever it looks like, it is beautiful. The small pincushion cactuses are just blossoming and prove that small can be beautiful. Then I come upon a blooming ocotillo, and it is amazing.

I walk a little further and make my turn to where I saw the coyote walking down the middle of the street a few weeks past. Then its birds competing for my attention. Grackles are squawking like old men arguing over who makes a better pickup, Chevrolet, or Dodge. Not to be outdone, the cactus wrens are jabbering about who has the nicest condo in the forty-foot-tall Saguaro on the corner. Both make their case, but I’m neutral about them. I enjoy hearing them equally. Another thought comes to me, and I write it down. Now I’m eager to be home to work on my newest writing project. I’m feeling hopeful about it. As I walk away, the birds are still loudly disagreeing

I open my front door and Suzanne asks, “how was your walk?” Denni jumps out of her bed on the sofa and sniffs my leg to make sure I’ve not been flirting with other dogs. “My walk was great,” I say. And it was.

“In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” John Muir.

“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.” Wallace Stevens

“An early morning walk is a blessing for the whole day.” Henry David Thoreau

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