Vignette #1

There’s an unspoken rhythm in life, a rhythm that we don’t even recognize or hear.

Langley and I were finishing our 8-mile walk Tuesday morning when I caught myself tapping my fingers to the jangling of Langley’s collar. I then noticed the way her ears flopped in unison with every “paw” step, her tail wagged to the left when her right paws touched the ground, then it would wag to the right when her left paws touched the ground. Always the same with each step.

Then the mockingbird keeping us company in the maple trees that lined the street we were on began her concert of mixed singing, finishing the last of her repertoire only to go back to sing her first selection, then her second, then her third song, following this pattern until we reached the corner and headed up the hill to our house and we could no longer hear her.

The acorns I crunched underfoot all had a rhythm to them: “keee-runch-runch, keee-runch-runch” . The leaves’ shadows dancing in the wind and painting their shadows along the concrete never strayed from their dance, always leaving exact patterns behind.

My tapping fingers. 

The jangling dog collar and flopping black ears. 

The mockingbird and her songs. 

The acorns and leaves. 

What a beautiful, musical world we live in. 

Vignette #2

I put off my walk today until the afternoon. I didn't quite know what to do with the day, whether to take off to see the elk in Boxley Valley or take pictures of David riding his mountain bike or take him up on his suggestion of driving over to Tulsa for the day. 

Feeling overwhelmed from the choices and the funk I woke up in this morning, I do what I always do or try to do in this sort of situation. I zeroed in on what I needed to do at that exact moment, which was to eat lunch and then take the dog for a walk. It's really and truly the little things that help set my day straight and get myself focused. The mundane details of what needs to be done to set myself at rest and to calm my thoughts down to an acceptable level.

We were less than half a mile from the house just beginning our walk, when I began to feel clarity, the choices and thoughts that had been swirling around in my head settling down and becoming more tolerable and clear. I mapped out the week ahead, making sure to leave time for my walks and the new weight program I want to begin on Monday. Plans on spending the day in the Buffalo River Valley on Monday looking for elk and exploring the tiny little town of Ponca (I'm not even sure there is a town. There might just be the outfitters that's there beside the river) and hiking in Lost Valley, a place that I hadn't been to since the kids were little. Wednesday, Langley and I will drive over Mt. Kessler for a day full of hiking and celebrating the first freeze of the year (or so the weatherman predicts). Friday is up in the air: maybe a quick trip to Prairie Grove and Lincoln to check out the thrift stores (it's been over two weeks since I thrifted) before David and I head up to Kansas City for a little weekend getaway.

It's always surprising to me just how clear headed, creative and right I feel after two hours of walking.

Vignette #3

Ideas seem to take off while we're out walking. Sometimes I think I should bring a notebook and pen to keep track of them all. I have been known to stop and send a quick email to myself when a particularly good idea hits me. I normally try and treat my walks much like I treated my runs back in my running days, walking for fitness and health. I don't bring my Nikon with me because my walks are when I pray, talk to Christopher, figure out photography (I've been known to get so caught up in figuring out exposure problems, metering, keeping all that and more straight that I've walked/ran miles further than I planned) and notice the world around me that I don't want to ruin the moment by whipping out my camera and taking pictures. I intentionally leave my camera at home. It's only been this last month or so that I even began carrying my phone with me in the mornings only because Joey is supposed to text me when he gets to school safely (although he's been forgetting lately so now I receive two back-to-back texts in the afternoon: "Made it." "Leaving."). 

It was this afternoon's walk that I got the idea for the photo above and, with Joey's assistance in getting Langley to look at the camera instead of sniffing my pockets for treats, I was able to pull it off.

And the dog was paid royally in baby carrots.

Vignette #4

I deleted my Instagram account about a month or so ago, full out canceled it, took the app off my phone, made it go away. 

And then today, I created another one.

I don't know why I do this. I create social media accounts and then delete them a few months later. About the only social media account that I haven't canceled is my Facebook account, and that's probably only because I hear my mom's voice in my head saying, "But how will ever get to see your pictures?" 


I'm not very good at making what I call, "Faceless Friends", the contacts that you meet on line and somehow, if you're lucky, you become lifelong friends. I envy those people that can make those friendships. I wonder if it's the trust that I fear, the unknown of making friendships with people that I've never met IRL (as the kids say).  I would love to have that kind of friendship, that "tribe" that I keep hearing about and being told to find. 

Where do I begin, how do I begin? 

I guess, for starters, stop deleting social media accounts.