So it seemed like an easy assignment: find 5 things worthy of comment on a walk around the neighborhood. It’s one thing to go for a walk on a beautiful sunny autumn day, it’s another to remember 5 things that you then go home and write about. Would there be competition? Would I have trouble finding even 2? Thanks to some help, I came home with five, just five, no more no less.
1. The sun streaking through the trees as it settles on the hill rising ahead of me: reds, golds, yellows brilliant against their drab cousins. But no, this verbal paintbrush is too brash. Not just red! Not gold the color of money! No buttercup or baby chick yellows! My only camera on hand was my cell phone, which could not handle facing the sun, so no evidence from today.
2. The persimmons are stankin! You could walk around our circle (about a third of a mile each turn) with your eyes closed and know immediately when you are passing them. Ken says that if you put one in your mouth you’ll be instantly awash with saliva, and drooling. Here’s an assortment. I love their lavender pink skin in the fall.
3. Buddy, our sweet australian shepherd, went with me and walked about 5 times the distance I did, just trotting out the length of the leash then looping left and right then back to me. When I paused to tighten my shoe laces, he rushed over to lean heavily against my arms. This made the whole shoe-tying business take twice as long, as I had to keep peering between his legs to see my shoes. What makes this worth remembering? Just the fact of slowing down and letting someone get in our way, it’s not always so bad.
4. A boy, about seven, and his grandfather arrive in their big white pickup and carry their basketball to the court. As I keep circling, their voices–one soprano and one tenor–filled the cup of our neighborhood circle with sweet sounds. I could distinguish his voice, “Long shot!” “Okay, 4 to 5.” But the grandfather’s remained just a bass rumbling around in the background.
5. I pass our neighbor Shirley walking her toy terrier Scooter. He is wearing a jaunty Irish plaid vest over his back. Buddy towers over him but does not insist, as Scooter scoots around her other side. We exchange niceties, the sort of unnecessary but reassuring sign of recognition. We don’t “need” to say, “beautiful day,” or respond, “wonderful, enjoy your walk,” but we do. The alternative, looking the other way or burrowing our noses in our bellies, would seem outrageous. And so we share our well wishes, and I think we both mean it.
I’ve been wanting to find a place to share this photo of a —-, some soft seed pod that we found last year about this time, on the shores of Ken Lake….I like it for the colors, not exactly the brilliant sun-splashed ones of this afternoon, but nuanced, the way fall is: