Green gone gold

The empty lot along my favorite after work walk is golden with prairie grass gone to seed.


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I have restarted my habit of going for a walk somewhere around my neighborhood after work. It was such a beautiful afternoon, 83 degrees and sunny by the official reconing (though Accuweather’s account says we tied the record high of 86 degrees set in 1950.)

It was just too beautiful to stay inside and I’ve missed the solitude of the walk. It gives me time to process the events of the day and clear my head before sitting down to whatever creative process I’ve planned for the evening. 

The fact that it’s good for me and gets me my 12000 steps (or more) is beside the point. Or a bonus. However you want to see it.

I pass this spot often on my walks. It’s on one of my favorite routes, the route I call the ‘easy route’ because I can walk it from my door and don’t need to drive anywhere for a trail. It’s far enough away from the traffic to be relatively quiet but close enough to civilization to be traveled by others. There’s this empty lot and a drainage pond next to it where I regularly see urban deer and geese and ducks. 

Once I saw a coyote, but I haven’t seen it recently.

When it looks like this with the grass green gone gold and swaying in the breeze, I can imagine what it what it might have been like before people made their way here. I can stand under the trees that line the lazy road that winds along the way and get enough of a taste of nature to make me feel grounded again.

I like big cities. Chicago. St. Louis. Kansas City. Minneapolis. The museums. The arts. The abundant variety in those places. It’s exciting and fresh and stimulating. They’re fun to visit.

I couldn’t live there. I come away with new inspirations, but mentally drained. There are too many people and not enough green places for me to find my center.

I need places like this. I need open spaces. I like my little city, large enough to have museums and art, but small enough that I can find places like this. Where other people understand the need for these things and support the trails and green spaces.

I need time with nothing on my mind more than my feet moving and my eyes on the world around me. I need places rural and bordering on wild. I need quiet places where you can see a hawk circling over a field, or a deer lying fallow in the underbrush.

I need to see the seasons pass. I need to pause under a tree and watch the ducks swim or the deer graze. I need time and space where I can just breathe and be.

By the end of the week the weather will be back down to normal temperatures – 60s for daytime highs and my walks will be crisp and cool. It may well be the last summer-like day of the year.

I’m glad I didn’t miss it. 

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