I went on a neighborhood walk this morning, where I first saw this carpet of petals and blossoms. A few blocks beyond, a woman pushing a child in a stroller smiled when she saw what I had managed to appropriate from the ground under the lilac bush.
At the end of the street I kneeled down to check on a baby bird lying on its back, its heart beating furiously. I felt helpless, suspecting that it was about to become a meal for a crow, but unable to think of any way to protect it. I hoped its parents would come to its rescue. As I started to climb a short hill my left knee began to hurt, the after-effects of walking like a maniac the past few weeks, but I was distracted from the pain when the sun came out from behind a cloud to take a bow. I waved at a few neighbors, smiled at walkers I didn’t know, who seemed as happy as I was that the sky was mostly blue. About halfway along my route, my eyes began to water from the pollen. When I arrived home my cat was sitting on the walkway watching for me, already purring by the time I reached him, because he knew he would be snacking soon. Joy, beauty, sadness, pain, family, community, pleasure, sorrow, companionship, birth, middle age, death. All of human reality encapsulated in a walk around my neighborhood.