Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I walked to the Lily Dale Assembly Office today to drop off a payment for the assessment. It was a nice walk, since today is just warm enough to be comfortable in a tshirt and the wind off the lake was just cool enough to make me glad for the sweatshirt I was wearing. A few interesting things happened along the way, including my being whistled at by some young men who were doing a paving job on someone's driveway. I don't know why anyone would whistle at me. Would you whistle at a tall, thin brunette wearing glasses and a baggy sweatshirt? I will never understand males, especially hormonal adolescent males. As far as I can guess, this one either whistled at me because he was truly impressed by my scrawny (lack of) sex appeal, or because he thought it was funny to 'tease' the poor stick figure. I'm going with option number two, because a few seconds after he whistled, he yelled "Shake that a$$!" and as everybody knows, I have no arse to shake. I'm totally without any shakeability and this has been proven. Soo... I have no choice but to conclude, once again, that boys will be boys (and therefore act in ungentlemanly ways) and there's nothing we ladies can do about it.

As I was walking today I never kept my eyes on the road right in front of me. There was no need - I was moving slowly, there were no other pedestrians along the way, there was no sidewalk to keep my feet on and no signs directed at people walking with the exception of the "Posted" signs on various trees. It was a quiet walk, and there was a lot going on around me that took my attention away from the road in all its bland emptiness. The speedwell, dandelions, chamomile, daisies, strawberries, ivy and forget-me-nots are all blooming, sometimes making fantastic carpets out of people's lawns, and I found a white flower I don't know, growing quietly at a single spot on the shore. The lakes (there are three small ones, connected in something of a 'U' shape) were beautifully blue and a little wind pushed wavelets up onto the shore. The sound was wonderfully calming. On the way back, just outside the Lily Dale gates, I startled a deer a few feet away in the woods - I hadn't seen it until it went crashing away into the undergrowth. I stood and watched it go; I don't think the two drivers who passed me just then saw anything at all.

That's a problem with driving. When you drive, you are going from point A to point B on a predirected course which can't be changed too much because most vehicles aren't any good in nature - they only work in "civilized" areas with gas stations and roads. Even bicyclists these days have to be aware of the road, and they lose out on some of the scenery. It's tough to stop a car to watch a butterfly, or to bend over from a bike seat to look at a wildflower as you pass it. And it's tough to think, too. Drivers ought to have their minds on the road, and not on the weather or what's for dinner or, God forbid, something deep or spiritual. Walking gives us a chance to use the legs we were given for their original purpose -moving us from place to place- and it lets us think at the same time. We don't miss out on the world as it rushes by our windows and fades away. We experience it and are part of it and if we like we can sit down to watch the water flow under a bridge, or look up to watch the wind in the trees. It's nature, it's beautiful and imperfect and awe-inspiring; it's our world and we need to pay more attention to it than just letting it pass by as we move encapsulated in our SUVs and little sports cars. That could have been an organized rant if I edited more. I just wanted the thought there, so maybe I can rant later.


  1. I happen to like zipping around in my little sports car..

    I reserve the "nature interaction" for when I don't have to get somewhere.

  2. That's all very well and good, but when do you not "have to get somewhere"? It's possible to get somewhere and actually interact with nature along the way, you know :P
    That's why I don't mind walking to Lily Dale.

  3. I'm just about always in a rush =\

  4. That's why I love to walk. You get to see a lot of what you miss on the train, on the car. I love your descriptions. I could almost imagine the "carpet of flowers" you mention. I saw a rabbit the other day on my way to the nearby park/forest... awfully shy creatures. Life's meant to be enjoyed slowly, when everything around you is wizzing ever faster, the need for speed, rapidity, punctuality...

    Alas, "man"kind (yes, the males of which I happen to be a part of) consist of quite a few idiots. (But I'm sure they had some valid reason to whistle, no? *laughs*) Fortunately there's a distinction between boy, lass, lad, man, guy, and gentleman. All save the last lack manners in many cases. =)

  5. They had a very valid reason. :)