July 24, 2015
I'm in another challenge where I've made the goal of at least a post a week for the duration of the challenge. One thing I really like noticing and writing are scenes. Sketches. Just an impression of a something, a moment or a feeling or a whatever. Tonight, I went on a 20-minute mindful walk when I got home to fulfill one of my challenge goals, which is 20 minutes or more of aerobic exercise at least four times a week unless I'm sick. And, I'm sick. So instead, I can meditate or stretch or do yoga for that time period. I wanted to get a little bit of moving in, so I decided on a walking meditation of sorts.
Down the street from my apartment, past the park and across a bridge, there is a housing development of tidy, stacked, staggered units surrounding central lawns and playground equipment. The development is a Hispanic neighborhood, which spills into the park on these hot summer nights. In the park, an over-subscribed soccer game, a large family finishing dinner at a picnic table, teenagers tucked into the trees along the banks of the creek. On the bridge, one stands at the other side waiting for me to cross, as though only one of us could be on the bridge at a time. "Hello," I say, and he smiles and answers "Hi" and steps onto the bridge to pass me.
Across the bridge, four boys kicking a soccer ball around behind the houses despite the fact that there's a field about 200 feet away. Shouts and laughter from the other side of the houses where children are playing and riding bikes. Everywhere, there are people. Kids run through the playground. In the street, men huddle around a truck smoking marijuana. The sun's gone down but it's still light and, according to Siri, 82 degrees. I stop to read a flier on a windshield. It's advertising a forum about police and the community. At the end of the street, a girl greets me on a bike.
"What's your name?"
"Beth. What's yours?"
"Nice to meet you." Her friend is riding by too. "And what's your name?"
"Nice to meet you, Jackie."
And they're on their way.
The following occurs to me, and I'm wistful. When most of us in Boulder want to do something, we go out. When these people want to do something, they go home. I do like my space, and my time to myself, but I can't help but think it would be lovely to just walk outside to a community of friends and family, chattering and eating and shouting and watching kids be kids. Living out in the open, in the summer nights.