Yesterday, I went for a walk and pretended it was springtime.
I packed my favorite camera with my favorite lens and a barely-filled sketchbook. I left my headphones at home, though silence makes me anxious, as does being alone. But it was a beautiful day, so I looked for an adventure on my own and listened to the changing rhythm of my breath.
I felt the sun warm the backs of my hands. I met an armadillo who didn’t run away. I met an old man riding a bicycle who told me he liked my shoe laces as he passed me to my left. I met two horses and a man and a woman riding them, who assured me the horses were very sweet as they were coming and I was going, or maybe it was the other way around. I met a grumpy dog. I met a little boy on a little bicycle wearing a cape and riding ahead of his father. I sat on the cold gravel at the edge of a trail and drew power lines that disappear into tall grass, and the cement walls of an old railway.
I met a man who asked to see what I was drawing and wanted to know what kind of pen I was using and the weight of my sketchbook paper and he told me he used to draw when he was in prison and that he had just gotten out and I told him it was a spectacular day to be alive and he introduced me to his friend Christina and he told me they had met earlier that day at an AA meeting and had been walking for hours getting to know each other and he showed me his leather bible he made while he was in prison and he told me that he would pray for me and I thanked him and the two walked away hand in hand.
I thought back to my art classes in high school and took a photo of a tree with a branch that stretched across the trail, creating a harsh diagonal line across the frame. It was striking and I was happy to arrive somewhere worth stopping for a moment because I felt like I wasn’t getting anywhere. I knew the trail was far too long for me to reach the end and walk all the way back and I needed somewhere to arrive so I could turn around knowing I had made it somewhere.
I don’t know how to go without going to or away from something, someone, some place.
I don’t know how to be still.
Winter renders the world a little heartbroken. If I were a poet, I would make something beautiful of it all. Instead, I’ll wait for the sunshine and the warm breeze to invite me into a kinder day. I’ll take a walk, pretend it’s springtime.