It took me a long time to walk in the country. I am not an ambler. I walk. With pace. In the city I was something of a le parkour/freerunner- dodging pedestrians and tourists, while wielding a stroller with several children attached through the throngs.
It was a difficult adjustment to make: to the not going anywhere. It has been reported to me that I am an “unfriendly” walker. I don’t smile when I walk apparently. I’m not sure why I would. Maybe this is how I have come to like walking in the dark winter months. I walk early or late so that I am in complete darkness. Some days the light of the moon is so strong it is like walking under movie lights. Other days the radiant fog is enough to hide everything. A skunk and I did surprise one another once, but I was already six feet away before either of us reacted. The only other time I knew fear on a walk was when I was coming down a hill toward a lone street light one morning. I thought the grim reaper was waiting for me at the bottom. I saw his eyes, his face and long body moving slowly back and forth. Just waiting. I accepted my fate with rather more equanimity than I would have thought I was capable of, not even bothering to hesitate. As I got closer I saw it was a silver balloon someone had attached to a signpost. Oh well. I should probably wear my glasses. It seems I’ve still some road to go, at least there is the night sky, varied and beautiful, and no one can see that I’m not smiling.