Shuffling Through Marshalltown

I just got back from my afternoon walk—a slow-motion shuffle around three square blocks.  All the better to see the lilac bushes greening and crocus heads swelling.  Iris blades like emerald knives slice through the winter brown.  A warm, moist breeze calls Spring to come forward.

This is my fourth walk since coming home from the hospital yesterday.  Each time I go a little farther, see something a little different.  At 1:30 in the morning, stars talk out loud and warm, velvet air slides over skin.  At 8:30 the Saturday traffic takes over, rushing to compete with the trains wailing in the yard.

Sometimes I’m the only human being on the street.  Sometimes I’m one of many.  The homeless shelter and emergency food bank are just up the street, so people in need pass by often—families, singles, elderly.  People who roll their entire lives with them in wheeled garbage bins.  People with nothing.  People who fight and swear at each other.  People who scold and natter at themselves.

Teenagers wander by in groups leaving their detritus of gum wrappers and Red Bull cans.  The library is next door, and the Kwik Star down the street, so I imagine they gravitate between the two.  But, what do I know about teenagers?

And the dogs are always out.  A plethora of Chihuahuas in all shapes and sizes.  They’re like a box of left-over Valentine’s Day chocolates—nuggets, and cherry centers, and dark mousse—all excited, all yipping in their tiny rodent voices.  There’s a black and white Bull Terrier who sits on the corner all day long, staring at the flower shop.  And a Pit Bull with pink eyes who seems bored out of her mind.  A trio of Corgis race up and down their fenced yard like jousters challenging the entire neighborhood to a duel.  Behind the dog noise, feral cats slink along the alleys, quietly going about their feline business.  They’re happy to let the dogs grab all the attention—anonymity is more their game.

If I could bend over, I’d start picking up the refuse winter leaves behind, but I have to leave that for now.  It’s enough to be outside, in the unseasonably warm, feeling the stretch of my stride in my sore belly, walking my way back to whole.

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7 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kathryn McCullough
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 16:48:32

    Gosh, Sandy, this is gorgeous writing. Love the image of iris knifing the soil–that is EXACTLY what they look like!

    It’s great you are getting out to walk. Be gentle with yourself, my friend.

    Hugs,
    Kathy

    Reply

  2. littlesundog
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 20:53:27

    I felt like I was walking alongside you! I am so happy you are walking around. Each day will bring healing and strength.

    Reply

  3. Fiddle gal
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 07:08:43

    I really enjoyed your writing and the picture that you created. It is perfect weather for a walk or for just about anything.

    Reply

  4. Lily
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 13:14:10

    Your words brought me such a sense of Peace and Gratitude today. Thank you.

    XO Kitty Cat

    Reply

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