Friday, July 30, 2004

After Lunch Walkies

I was going to rant a bit about the ex & the crap that she decided to pull this morning, but, I'm now in a fairly decent mood & don't feel like spewing any venom right now.

Maybe in a few minutes, just not right now.

Anyway, as I announced over at Amy's site last weekend, I'm taking yet another stab at exercising. I had mentioned that I was going to start running again. So far, that hasn't happened. I'm already tired enough in the morning. I don't want to add more to that. And it's been about a hundred & eleventy bajillion degrees outside even in the evening. And, more to the point, when it comes to exercising - I'm a lazy, lazy man.

One thing I have implemented, though, is using the last half hour of my lunch to go for a walk. Nothing major. Just a walk down the street & back, about 3/4 of a mile or so (baby steps, steps). It's a nice walk. Although I work in an industrial area, a good half of the area that I walk in is an undeveloped field. Most of the walkway is either in the street or the dirt. But, it's pretty quiet &, when they aren't shrouded behind a cloak of smog, the entire mountain range that borders the north end of the valley can be seen. Planes can also be seen, landing at the old Norton AFB, where I was stationed during my enlistment.

The walks not only stretch my legs, though. They also open up my mind, my memories. The walks take me back in time, to when I was growing up. At that time, I either walked everywhere (Rialto, my hometown, is not that big) or rode my bike. I didn't have a license until I was almost eighteen & I didn't get a car until I was almost nineteen.

You notice a lot more when you walk or ride a bike - sights, sounds & scents that you don't experience as they are filtered out through the a/c of a car. As I walk along the fields, the smell of the mustard plants & sage bushes & even the dirt makes me feel like I'm fifteen again, without a care in the world. The feel of the silty sand beneath my shoes & the crunchy sound that the pebbles make underfoot remind me of good times long since past.

There's a flood control canal along the walk, not unlike the ones that I used to play in & ride my bike through. It's always got water running through it & everyday I stop by it on both legs of my little mosey. I notice more & more animals every time I stop. On the east side, it's very serene & quiet. The water flows gently under the street. On this side, pollywogs & dragonflies of every color can be found. Today as I approached, a duck was swimming along & took off right when I got to the bridge. The pollywogs were nowhere to be found, but there were still the aforementioned dragonflies (one in particular, a gigantic orange one, looked to be the size of a helicopter) & some form of underwater bug that I'd never seen before. I thought maybe the tadpoles had lost their tails overnight & sprouted their legs, but I noticed that the critters had six legs, thus nixing the idea that they were frogs.

Unless they were mutant frogs. I dunno.

Anyway, these things were grey & about two & a half inches long. Maybe a bit bigger, maybe a bit smaller. All I know is that from about twelve feet above the water, these things were huge.

On the other side of the canal, the water flows over some rocks, a folding chair & a shopping cart & is a bit choppy. There one can find more of the monster dragonflies &, on occasion, more tadpoles. Birds of varying sorts flit about the reeds & marsh grass that grows there. Lizards &, I found out today, squirrels, frequent the creek, too. Or, rather, a squirrel, as I only saw one. It was big, though. Perhaps it ate the rest of the squirrels.

The rushing of the water over the rocks & the shopping cart have a claming effect that is only somewhat disrupted by the cars that occasionally go past, reminding me that I'm not on the banks of some lazily flowing stream, but rather that I'm standing in the street, looking over a drainage ditch with a purple .99 Cent Store cart in it & that I only have a short amount of time before I have to go back into the dungeon that I call my office. I take a swig of my water &, with great reluctance, pull myself from the past & head back to the office. When I get back to my desk, I look down at my shoes, all covered in fine, brown dirt.

It's a reminder that, for a little bit at least, I felt like I was back in time, back home again.