I’m not quite done talking about my adventure to the desert, but the latest post is taking longer to gel. My muse is more difficult to understand than usual. But in the meanwhile while we are all COVID-19 isolated, I have a little story, from much smaller travels: my walkabout in the neighborhood.
My neighborhood has a variety of catwalks in it. These paths act as shortcuts for walking between the maze of curvy streets. If you are not paying attention, you may never even notice them as you walk or drive down the street. For me they are little secret passages, taking me on an imagined adventure to a new place, even if that new place is just the next block. One of my favorite catwalks is a series that leads to a little park in the middle of a ring of circular streets. The park is the inner most ring, with the best properties being the ones on the inner circle street facing the park. The catwalks cut a direct path through the circular streets, ending at the park in the middle. I view it as the secret park in the middle of the neighborhood – if you do not seek it out you will never know it is there.
I can walk over there in about five minutes, passing through the catwalks to enjoy the little park, continuing my walk out on the streets again. Today, I was doing the reverse. The weather was nice, so I had already walked a long loop around the south end of my neighborhood, past the closed playgrounds, crossing the quiet feeder road into a long linear park that takes me to a fair view of the city. I return back on the streets, taking care to avoid the other walkers and kids playing on the sidewalk. Passing by the local shopping complex, it is busy. No stopping in for a snack, I’m doing my part to try and not catch the COVID. I cross the intersection of the two feeder roads in the community. The layout makes it feel like I’m in a little one traffic light town center. All the shopping and activity is focused on the center of the community, rather than a big box district outside the area. I think it fosters a much better sense of community, where the locals tend to all see each other in the local shopping mall.
Having crossed the traffic light, I leave the center of the neighborhood. Now I am heading for my little “circle park”. There is no catwalk shortcut on this side of the community, I need to know the street directions. Turn left, then first right, then first left, then first right. Head straight on and as you see the road curve to the left you will also see the little park. I walk around the south end of the park to the east side, where I know the catwalk shortcut is that takes me straight east out of the circular ring of streets. It is not an easy thing to spot unless you know where it is; only the yellow post clues you in from a distance that a second exit out of the area exists.
Going to pass the yellow post, I notice a new sign taped to it.
We have left decorated rocks for you to find.
Each with a message that is friendly and kind.
Look side to side, forward and behind. Please leave them in place if you don’t mind.
What is this, I think to myself? New secrets to find on the secret catwalk, excellent! The sign also informs there are 19 rocks along here. But the catwalk is narrow – I do not want to loiter and run across someone else along the way. I will have to settle for a slow walk, keeping a sharp eye out for any unusual rocks along the way.
But it is not to be a completely trivial challenge – there are other rocks along the way to hide among, nooks and crannies, and shrubs to hide under. Yes, there are actually quite a few places to look for rocks along these narrow passages.
But I keep my eyes open and soon spot my first rock. How nice!
Ooooh, I like the shiny!
Hey, that’s what I say to sign off on emails!
Yes, I would add, Be Free, and Be Kind to that advice, but perhaps there were other rocks I did not find to complete that advice.
That was all I found in my fairly quick search. 4/19 isn’t a great score, but like I said, I wasn’t dilly dallying along to find every rock when others could be encountered on the narrow passage. But there is now the possibility of finding other rocks next time I walk the other direction through there. I look forward to discovering new secrets along the secret path!
These photos are sourced differently – if you want to see them big, right click on them, and select “Open in new tab” The new tab will have the big version of the image in it, at least if you’re using Chrome.