February 11th, 2008



I got lost today on my walk. Sort of. Work was a giant stressball of crazy busyness and then I had to race home, get the kids and shove food into their faces before running out the door again to take Karin to karate. It's 20 minutes away, in the little town of Eslöv, which has the reputation of being the most boring place in Sweden. (I actually don't agree with that assessment, but whatever, I don't live there, so what do I know?)

Anyway, the 20 minutes means it's not worth dropping her off and driving home again as I would have to just turn right around 15 minutes later and drive all the way back to pick her up, and unfortunately, she's not yet old enough to hand a bus pass to with a cheery smile. It's been too dark and cold to do my usual walk in the wooded unpaved path that goes up hill and down dale some ways from the sport hall where she has her karate class, partly because of my fear of twisting my ankle again, and partly because of the too dark and cold part. Excuses, excuses, I know. So instead I've been taking writing paper and a nice pen and writing letters to people; real letters that I then put in envelopes and stamp and mail in a mailbox. Other times I take my book and sit on the uncomfortably shallow hard seats provided in the sport hall and try to ignore the shouting and echoes of several dozen young men and boys playing handball and running up and down like small herds of frenetic elephants enough to read.

It's starting to get lighter, which is very motivating to me in regards to walking, and since I can use all the motivation I can find, that's a good thing. I took my book along today, but the walk was calling me so even though it was dark, I left my book in the car after seeing Karin into her class-gym, and set out into the wilds of Eslöv's residential area, facing roughly west.

That particular area of town is rich with walking paths, well-lighted, wide, paved areas through greenery and past little playgrounds and in, around, and by neighborhoods full of little brick 70s houses with brown and green mottled glass in the front hall by the doorway and hexagonal wall clocks hanging by the IKEA bookshelves in the lit-up family rooms, as well as several clusters of almost preternaturally quiet apartment complexes. So I just set out on one of the paths and walked and walked and walked. I went in approximately a big circle, thinking of Chuck and his long walks and wishing I had an iPod or even just a crappy little MP3 player or someone to walk with. Martin was home with his dad, doing his homework, so I didn't have my usual walking buddy. It felt silly to sing out loud as I went, in an area where people were walking home with their convenience store plastic bags heavy with milk cartons or their little dogs on leashes, so I just strode along, swinging my arms, and using all my other senses, since it was dark enough that sight wasn't really foremost for taking in impressions.

I could hear the train several times. I miss having a train nearby. I think the distant sound of a train is so comforting. I could smell the rich loamy odor of turned fields and wet gardens. I could feel how my hips swung and my heels in their warm winter boots thudded into the asphalt.

Passing over the street the school and sport hall were on, I followed another path with a high hedge past the wooded jogging path where I would have walked if it were light enough out. At the end of it I turned and then stair-stepped my way through the apartment complex, rounding one corner after another until I was thoroughly disoriented and wondering slightly where exactly I would come out. I wasn't REALLY lost, but it was kind of fun to not know exactly where I would end up when I got back to the main street. Who knows where one will end up if one just keeps on walking?

Eventually, I followed one more paved little path past a quiet playground and silent swings and came out between two buildings to find I was only a block away from the sport hall. So, back I went, in time to sit quietly among the elephants until Karin's class was over and she came out, all sweaty and smiling in her little white uniform and bright red belt to jolt me out of my book.

It does seem as if my rambling posts about my walks are not really favorites with my vast and discerning audience of readers, but if I have to make a decision about writing about the fact that in between paragraphs here, I'm WORKING or the heady good time of getting lost in Eslöv in the dark, well, you'll just have to live with the ramble.

A Veritable BONANZA of Buoyant Birthday Wishes to My Favorite Dogmama Artiste a la Wonderful, Bluepoppy!