Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Walking Vignette

The air is warm without a hint of chill that was here just a few days ago. The flowers on the trees have burst like fireworks and are spreading their petals like confetti on the ground, their pinkish-white turning to brown as they are trampled on and crushed. Others are out now that it's warm: a famliy pulling a wagon and pushing a stroller, two men jogging, their middles sloshing over the elastic of their shorts. The houses stand bathed in the sinking sun, pink and orange and red; they are full of possibility. From the trees that line the street, the sweet smell of flowers and the near-rotting smell on new growth, like the rotting floor of a forest, waiting for new trees to grow.

I am alive to all the different colors--the yellow of forsythia and daffodils, pale pink, bright reds and purples of tulips, all the different greens of the budding trees and pale red of red maples. All of them set against the background of the pale blue sky. I think I might take my mother on this walk with me and what would she notice? Perhaps the way the houses grow larger as we move west and spread further apart. Perhaps the manicured lawns--smell the fresh-cut grass. Down one street, rows of twins on one side huddled close together with more of the same down each side street. On the opposite side, the expansive lawns and solid brick.

I sometimes long for these houses, it's true. I always note the tudor style house with the tree house in the back. I note the lovely blue trim on an expansive brick house and the quaint stained glass windows on another. But as I walk past them, turning back toward where I came from, I am comforted by the way the houses once again seem huddled together like a line of defenders on the soccer field. And I wonder what they are defending against.