A Walk for the Soul

Never finding her car keys, she decided that a walk would be refreshing instead. She gathered all the necessary items, identification, cash, phone, and lots of layers on the brisk Fall morning. There was something about this town that made her want to walk everywhere, no matter what the distance or how long it might take, because you just want to enjoy this moment with the world that envelopes you. You start craving natural interaction and placing yourself in situations that in other places are less socially acceptable or practical. Putting herself onto the streets to begin her trek was a way to seek that natural human exchange. She moved in her own bubble of space and comfort and encountered other’s bubbles as she went along. Some bubbles were bigger than others, and not because the person was bigger, but because it’s what they need. Her bubble fluctuated depending on the day and how friendly she may be feeling. Today her bubble was large, and she floated down the street in an undisturbed peace, free to take in the scenery around her to her heart’s content.

 The street she chose to strategically route herself along was proudly displaying the colors of Fall, and boasting their magical ability to take a blue sky and paint it all shades of golden hues, slowly and gradually, until the eye has been tricked and the next time you look up all you see are shades of yellow and red. The trees on either side of the street leaned in as if straining to graze their branch tips along the pool of asphalt below, like a child straining to reach the coins at the bottom of the fountain. They blocked out the rest of her surroundings, and she felt strangely safe, being out in the open, yet somehow hidden from the rest of the world that she did not care to take in at the moment. The street could have been pulled directly out of a Fall catalog, carefully crafted to inspire feelings of nostalgia and a craving for warm apple cider. It was something that hand-crafted places like Disney World would strive to recreate with the paper and fabric purchased from a craft store, and still pale in the eyes of the actual thing. The street was littered with gold and red leaves, emphasizing the contours with excess. They did not dance across the street, but instead stayed still, almost shellacked in place with the fresh rain coating of rain applied to their facade. Other leaves were poised, still on the branches, but ready to take their leap to join the art in the streets, like ballerinas waiting in the wings of the stage to make their dramatic yet elegant entrance, quivering and attentive to the days passing like the 1-2-3-4 that is methodically drilled into the minds of dancers. The dance of the golden leaves enveloped her and she was lost in awe of the art. Without any awareness of her bubble, she danced along the assumingly deserted street with the leaves and the melody of Fall.

This is why she took to the streets and could not be bothered to locate her car keys; because otherwise she would have missed the dancing of the leaves. She would have taken the same street, had she actually been able to locate what she had misplaced, however she would not have seen the same things. In a car, there is no stopping to dance with the leaves. In a car, there is efficiency and a predetermined purpose. The car would have missed the way the leaves gracefully drift down from their home and support. It would have ruined the carefully highlighted contours of the street with its passing. The car allows you to physically see the same sights, but it doesn’t allow you to feel them. It reinforces the personal bubble that we put up around ourselves even further and gives us an excuse to not seek feeling, and in fact, rid it from our lives with the purpose of substituting efficiency. She had chosen feeling over efficiency that morning, and could feel her soul lighten with the choice despite her lack of efficiency increasing the workload for the day. She took a deep breath and smiled, knowing she had made the right choice.

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