Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Walkabout: a post diner stroll

Last night I finally made it out in the evening, after downing one too many yummy organic grilled cheeseburgers and veggies. At 7 p.m. under a mellowing sky and a slightly cool breeze I headed out.

My destination? The local CVS to drop off a prescription. The mile-long walk took me down a back street, past several other small condo complexes through a long, narrow stretch of land called Turtle Park. It’s obvious it was once meant to be a thru street that was put to a higher use.

Sarasota does the park thang really well. When I first moved here a decade ago, I used to walk it daily. Since then, the sophisticated mix of trees planted along the graceful curving walkway has matured from saplings, providing much needed shade from the Florida sun. There is the ever present water fountain, benches and even a large leatherback turtle sculpture.

As I strolled, I flashed back to those early walks. I was so desperately homesick, with the sinking feeling I had made a huge mistake in leaving the Jersey Shore. I had taken the boardwalks for granted. The cement was unyielding beneath my feet. So I would get into a rhythm, allow my eyes to flutter almost closed, and will myself back to the Shore. I could feel the boards give under my strides and smell the sea.

My goal is to integrate walking into my life. Last month, I would have hopped into the cat without thinking. Now, I think before I drive: Is there some way to “walk this out.”

It may be a small step …but it’s one in the right direction. And that’s not a small thing.

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