Nearly every day, my husband and I walk up our street and into Griffith Park. Our loop begins with a long, steep hill and ends on a street lined with magnolia trees so large and they seem out of a fairy tale. Every morning, we see the same people -- the lady in the red hat with the big, brown dog, the guy with the beagle, the serious young girl with the I-pod. My favorite dog is named Tiger. He's some kind of pit bull combo platter with really short legs and a huge head. If a dog could laugh, this dog would laugh all the time.
Our walk gives us structure. It helps reset our brains after the hurry-scurry of getting the kids off to school. Our mornings lately have been hectic. The kids are intense. They don't want to get dressed, or eat or pack their backpacks. They are tired and cranky. They are loud. Today, they both started screaming for no reason other than to see how loud they could scream, how wide they could stretch their mouths. They jack up the volume on the stereo, bounce tiny rubber balls ten thousand times in a row and pour the box of crayons out on the floor. In the single hour that between the second they open their eyes and the moment they walk out the door, they never, ever stop moving. They never move toward anything practical like breakfast, clothes or a warm coat.
It is good to walk. The blue sky, the clean city, the tiny clouds want nothing from me. The short dog laughs, the woman in the red hat waves hello and my feet are almost silent on the ground before me.