one foot in front of the other. focus on this movement, focus on your steady breath.
be aware of the path, but don't move so fast to let your surroundings become blurs on either side of you. the need to see the trees, their branches and the flowers in the bushes is important. are you walking on wet cement, or dry earth? can you feel the bumps and groves in the ground beneath the soles of your shoes? and how many houses and apartment buildings and shops have you just passed by? you will need to know these things because people will ask. we all want to know how you got here and what happened to you on your merry way.
tell us about the joyfully screeching children crisscrossing each other through the sprinklers in their front yard, and how one little boy with bright green swimming trunks shot a long stream of water at you. tell us how you smiled at him as he ran around behind the old white house and the gardenia bushes, laughing.
tell us about the cars that nearly wrecked at the intersection in front of you. how the red dodge neon with the pavement bumper sticker was going north through the green light as the all black ford f-150 with tinted windows rattling with the beat of a heavy bass nearly clipped the neon's back bumper speeding east through the red light. could you see the drivers' faces? was your heart pounding, feeling the bass from the truck shake your knees and your chest?
tell us how you walked all the way here, twenty blocks, because you woke up this morning and just wanted to see us and talk to us and sit on our porch in the sun and breeze. you could have ridden your bike or taken a bus, but you miss so much when your speed accelerates. tell us how you'd never noticed all of the azalea and camellia bushes in your neighborhood, or the little run-down looking laundry mat two blocks from our house. tell us about the house that made you stop and stare - the big brick castle looking one halfway between our own homes, fenced in completely with japanese red maples next to the porch, the corners of the fence. how bar harbor juniper lined the walkway to wrap-around porch hugged by magnolia bushes and creeping ivy. tell us how us suspect it's three stories with a finished basement, oak floors and woodwork throughout. how there may be a screened in sun porch out back on the second floor overlooking a large backyard with more flowering bushes, trees and a garden.
tell us how this house that's been there for years, before your parents were even born, that you'd never noticed before in your twenty-odd years of life in this neighborhood, this house made you stop on your way over and dream of a future and a family to fill it.
we want to know how you then inhaled deeply, took in the scents and sounds of the future you want, and started again. one foot in front of the other.