Mindful Walk in the Park

February 22, 2023

This afternoon I took a mindful walk around the lake at a park near my school. It was an unusually warm February day and I wanted a bit of exercise, but quickly my focus shifted to the sounds and smells  around me. It was blustery so there was a gentle whooshing sound as the boughs of the pine trees swayed and a great rustling came from the stalks of bamboo across the lake. Parents and children of all ages flocked to the park to enjoy the sunny afternoon. A gentle rhythmic thumping echoed across the lake from several pick up games of basketball. Peals of laughter and squeals of delight punctuated the air from kids enjoying the swings and climbing equipment. As I passed a father and his sons fishing, I could hear instructions on how to bait the hooks and cast. As group of women and an infant sat at a picnic table sharing a meal. Their conversation in Spanish drifted my way as I passed them. A couple passed mewith their dog, animatedly talking in a language I couldn’t decipher. Perhaps it was Russian? A very strong and heavily tattooed man did handstands, handsprings and some version of parkour on a short boardwalk next to the lake. Happy dogs and owners trotted by with spring in their steps and greeted each other with friendly words and yelps.

The air smelled fresh and clean as I completed my circuit of the lake. A grill near the pavilion smelled of charcoal on my first lap and hamburgers the next time around. All the sights, smells and sounds made me start to reminisce about friends I had shared this walk with in the past. I paused to watch the fountain at the center of the lake. Almost on cue, one of my former students texted to share about a project she is doing in college and asked for my email to show me a draft. I sent the address and a picture of the fountain. She responded immediately with a memory of walks we took around the lake during COVID. I finished my walk, knowing that I wanted to write about the beauty of the day, the sights, smells and sounds of a moment shared by a disparate group of people briefly gathered together in community.

Published by bmdavis1

I am a wife, mother of 2 grown sons, a school librarian and a certified yoga instructor. My hobbies include gardening, walking in nature and chasing around my two ornery cats.

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