Going for walks in the morning is like stepping into a fairytale as some sick, old creature. The woods are glittery and towering, decorated with a million invisible strands of web, still drenched by the rainstorm from several days ago. Naturally I listen to music while I walk, and this just adds to the beauty and romance of the trail.
The path is soft, slanted and deeply padded on each side by a thick collage of foliage.
My part in this daily courtship is to hobble carefully along in the dirt trying not to groan, “My bones, my aching bones” like Mr. Smallweed in Bleak House. I have been sedentary for too many months and my not-quite-middle-aged body complains in several places as I force it into motion. The loudest yelling comes from my right hip and ankle, but I shut out their whining by gazing up and up into the sun dappled upper reaches of those epically tall trees.
The aches quiet down as I warm up and I forget I’m a haggard old spinster. I imagine myself heading toward some English mansion to spend the day drinking tea and chatting comfortably with friends I’ve known my whole life.
I say goodbye to the woods as I start my day, but I take the wild quiet with me.