The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

May 10, 2007


I have felt that way, at times, in recent weeks and months during the cold, hard winter, and it has sometimes affected my interest in blogging...and occasionally still does.
And many other things.

This past week, I was e-talking to someone I really care about, and I felt a sudden need to go on a walk rather than continuing to talk.

I guess, DOH!, I wanted to walk the walk instead of talk the talk.

The thing is, usually, I'm not the kind of person to just go for a walk. There's no purpose to it, least that's usually my line of thinking. What's the point? What can I see? What can I do?

Purpose. Even thinking that word got me to some contemplation.

It got me to thinking about being a kid and how I used to not need a reason to do anything in particular, I just did what my heart and my body said I wanted to do at that time.

I'd go out collecting insects in the neighborhood back lanes. I'd walk across Coronation Park to the Norwood Flood Bowl to see if anyone was there swimming in the pool or playing football or baseball.

In winter, I'd just grab my hockey stick and gloves and spongie and just head out onto the street, fully expecting -- and usually finding -- some of my friends playing street hockey.

But my life's not like that any more. It's become about hopping in my car and heading to this place or that, driving at 50 km/h (30 mph fer you Amuricans) to here, there and everywhere.

And having everything I drive past being, for all intents and purposes, nothing but a blur. Familiar, but a blur. Seen only from a car. Visited, but only if I drive there.

My need to explore has given way to my need to just get somewhere. From Point A to Point E, with none of the B,C and D between that I used to investigate and experience.

No life, no people, no meeting of strange faces or familiar faces, just life on a road map. So this past week, in sweltering 30 C (almost 90 F, for you Amuricans) temps, I changed all that.

And after recently spending $2,400 to fix up my 1996 Ford, and then having a water pump they installed start leaking, and having them fix it, and then having the &%#@ engine light come on right after that...

I decided that I was far too dependent on the vagaries of my automobile. In fact, I was a slave to it, and the luxuries it affords. But I'm also a victim of being too dependent on those lifeless luxuries.

So I went from this... what I hope will be more of this: walking around my neighborhood and other areas, to get out of my four-door and into the outdoors. To get back to what my true nature is, living.

There's existing and there's living. I have been existing. I'm naturally a bit of a loner and don't need a lot of people around all the time, although I'm far from anti-social.

But a big part of what's made me be that way is my contentment in being alone and doing things on my own, or with one other person, or with my kids.

And now that my kids are older and less dependent on me, my own past is becoming more of my future and part of what I know is my nature and how I can be happiest.

And spinning my wheels driving everywhere in a blur, unless it's to a destination that I want to be heading to, is not it. I don't want the blur, I want clarity and vision and real stuff.

So this past week -- and I apologize for the length of this -- I made an effort to get back to my roots.

I left my car with the "Check Engine" light in the *&^%$# parking stall and checked "out" instead. Walking, that is. Being a bipedal creature with the senses of smell, sight, hearing and witnessing.

With my camera.

I originally set out to take a picture every 100 steps of things I've known are all around me, but which I hadn't truly "seen" for a long time, if ever. Here are some of them.

One of the courtyards in my apartment complex, the grass finally greening, the trees at long last budding...

Kids playing soccer. I used to coach baseball and football...why not now, even though my kids are no longer involved?

These are some East Indian and Asian kids, mostly, playing cricket on a basketball court between my son's future high school (next year) and my daughter's former junior high.
There's a beautiful huge green space within a few minutes' walk of my apartment. I have rarely gone there, only when I can persuade my son to throw a football around.
There are beautiful wooded areas bordering my complex. My son has explored in there, but I haven't. What happened to that sense of seeking mystery? I hope to get it back.
I walked up to the main street where all of my "services" are located: my bank, my insurance agent, my convenience store, my supermarket...just to see them in that walking context.

The saying goes, it's time to stop and smell the roses. I know those aren't roses above, they're tulips or daffodils, those spring flowers that sprout up early and then disappear as quickly as they came up.
Still, I want to smell the roses anyway. And with gas prices going through the roof, my timing couldn't be better...