Out for a walk.

flowerMonteryThis morning I took Liam (4) and Laddie (2) for a walk in their new neighborhood in Monterey, on California’s Central Coast. It was foggy and cool — it never gets summery hot here — and we enjoyed the flowers in the gardens we passed. This succulent with wild magenta flowers is one I am not familiar with.

We stopped at two different parks with playgrounds, where we pretended the stroller was a train, and I taught them the Hokey Pokey.

Nothing monumental or philosophical happened, but it was very meaningful to me. The last time I took Liam for a walk in a stroller was when Laddie was the new baby. This time the new baby is Brodie and he and his mom were napping at home. I’m grateful to be involved in their daily life for a few days.

Last week I discovered this poem about a walk:

THE PINNACLE

Both of us understood
what a privilege it was
to be out for a walk
with each other
we could tell from our different
heights that this
kind of thing happened
so rarely that it might
not come round again
for me to be allowed
even before I
had started school
to go out for a walk
with Miss Giles
who had just retired
from being a teacher all her life

she was beautiful
in her camel hair coat
that seemed like the autumn leaves
our walk was her idea
we liked listening to each other
her voice was soft and sure
and we went our favorite way
the first time just in case
it was the only time
even though it might be too far
we went all the way
up the Palisades to the place
we called the pinnacle
with its park at the cliff’s edge
overlooking the river
it was already a secret
the pinnacle
as we were walking back
when the time was later
than we had realized
and in fact no one
seemed to know where we had been
even when she told them
no one had heard of the pinnacle

and then where did she go

-W.S. Merwin, from The Shadow of Sirius

8 thoughts on “Out for a walk.

  1. That succulent, from Chile, is rock purslane, Calandrinia spectabilis. I brought some to Carmel from Santa Barbara. It blooms all summer, grows easily and is drought tolerant. Aphids like it though.

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  2. I’ve just been having a lovely walk through your blog. I got caught up in the quotations, and there went an hour, as I link-hopped.

    I enjoy Merwin, and was happy to find him here. The Palisades, the pinnacles and the cliff’s edge were, of course, from his New Jersey childhood. If you’ve not seen the documentary about him, including his own musings, I think you’ll like this clip.

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  3. I think right now I might like to be someplace I could wear a coat. Your walk sounds wonderful. I love the flowers you saw and I love the poems you share. Have a lovely week.

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  4. It is nice to have a chance to be part of the daily lives of our children and grands, isn’t it? I know I always feel blessed to spend time at my daughter’s house and to laugh with my silly and wonderful grandgirls. πŸ™‚ Enjoy your family!

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