Archive for November, 2012

posted by Amy on Nov 14

I decided I should walk an hour a day for my health. Ever the multi-tasker, I tried walking to school, which takes about an hour, but the way is noisy and smelly, with nothing very interesting or beautiful to look at, so I soon gave that up in favor of walking around the reservoir near my apartment.

If you’ve never made a practice of taking the same route around the same body of water day after day, season after season, you’d probably think it would be tiresome and monotonous. But it’s never the same. Baby geese appear, grow up, fly away. Flowers bloom, bear fruit or seeds, wither and fall. Leaves bud, burst forth, droop in rain or snow, change color, fall. The sound of my footsteps changes with the seasons. The color of the water is different every time. There are always new people, in ever-changing configurations, moving in endlessly different ways—leaning on a cane, riding a bicycle, being pushed in a stroller, hobbling, walking, jogging, sprinting, or just sitting side by side on benches, talking softly. Sometimes the lake is still and glassy, but usually there’s a breeze or gusty wind, moving the water in ripples or choppy waves. Gulls, geese and mallard ducks stay year-round, but other birds stop by from time to time—coots, a loon, and, my favorite, a pair of swans.

I always look for turtles. They don’t like being watched, but they breathe air, and that’s how you can spot them. If you find places near the shore where the water is still and there are floating branches or mats of weeds, and gaze patiently with soft, open eyes, you might glimpse a little brown cone of turtle snout barely poking above the water’s surface, its body floating motionless below. One day I saw five turtles, an all-time record. On my best turtle day ever there was only one, a tiny one resting on a floating piece of wood, with neck stretched out and face turned toward the sun. Together, each in our own way, the turtle and I rejoiced.


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