It was 43 degrees in middle Florida this morning, so naturally I should go for a walk. I pulled on my longest pair of capris, shoved my feet into the shoes that just took me around India and Eastern Europe, wrapped my body in no less than four layers – since I was certain the temperatures would climb to about 120 by the time I made my return trip – and set out on foot the 1.5 miles to the local, independent, newish coffee shop, to meet a friend.
Having just returned less than a week ago from traveling abroad, roaming city streets and climbing endless stairs into temples and ashrams, it felt almost obscene to hop in and out of my car to drive short distances. I have always dreamt of living in a walking city, and these last few places, especially Slovenia, reignited that desire. I decided not to allow my current status of burb-dweller to deter my enthusiasm.
It was the best of so many worlds: cool temperatures; bright blue sky; – a friend I used to know would call this a blue bird day, I’m not entirely sure exactly what that means; maybe that a blue bird would be completely camouflaged against a sky of the same color, maybe that blue birds were made out of the sky, whatever the case, it’s now sort of how I feel about the cloudless, blue backdrop against which all other colors become more vivid than seems natural – the absence of school buses at this early hour, thanks to a well-timed Spring break, time to think about nothing, and the opportunity to notice everything.
As I continued on my way I drank in great quantities of fresh air and gave thanks to the big something for such a beautiful day, and allowing me to make safe passage from my travels, a fate not afforded to some this very morning in Belgium. It saddens me, this perpetuation of hate and fear. It’s not something most of us can readily understand, and that’s a good thing. I sent out my sorrow for those affected on a long exhale – along with a prayer for worldwide compassion to win – and let the bright magenta of a rogue bougainvillea take me to a kinder place.
The coffee shop – Duo 58, for those whose wanderings may take them through Oviedo, Florida – provided a touch of that urban vibe I crave and the always delicious cup of coffee. After my meeting I decided to linger for another hour or so to write and plan and cogitate on the meaning of all things.
Once I was satisfied with my version of the universe as I know it, I returned my personal electronic devices, and several of the layers I’d peeled away, into the giant bag I’d recently procured in India, slung it all over my shoulder and took my leave. There was no rush so I walked at a rate comfortable for me; somewhere between ‘saunter’ and ‘with purpose’, with stops along the way to notice. Just notice.
There are not so many roses to stop and smell on this route, but there are plenty of stories being told by the blushing azaleas, the oak trees proud of their bright green spring plumage and the dragonflies and lizards mentioned how they were cautiously relieved that the cold snap may be over.
Once home, I unlocked my front door, nodded to the canine menagerie – and the feline that keeps them in line – and headed straight for the French doors that keep us civilly separated from the ‘outside’ and opened not one, but both. If I could peel away the whole back wall of my house today, I would.
But for now I am content to make my office on my back porch with the partially obstructed view of the ever optimistic yellow tabebuia tree and the intoxicating scent of orange blossoms with the hum of the bees getting drunk on their nectar.
Today is a blue bird kind of day.