Sunday, January 21, 2007

This Perfect Day

I went for a walk around Walden Pond today. I probably shouldn't have, since my doctor has told me to stay off my feet until the swelling goes down. (Thirty years old with bunions? Are you kidding me?) But I really needed to get out, go hug some trees.

It was cold but bright, so when the wind calmed down I could feel the warmth of the sun against my skin. The water on the pond is still trying to make up its mind about freezing, and slush was just starting to form around the edges. In a few places, air had been trapped under the ice and came bubbling up to the surface as if some strange undersea creature was letting out its breath in slow, measured exhales.

The winter birds were in full song, darting in and out among bare branches. I played hide and seek with a woodpecker for awhile. He was determined not to let me get a good luck at him, always perching with the sun as a backdrop or darting around to the back of a thick trunk.

Halfway around the pond I started noticing red rose petals strewn along the ground, their bright crimson in stark contrast to the mottled brown leaves underfoot. I have no idea who left the petals -- maybe a heartbroken woman scattering a peace offering from an unfaithful lover. Maybe a black-fingernailed goth girl performing a mystic ritual. Maybe it was just someone who didn't want to put a wilting flower in the garbage can.

It's nice, once in awhile, to have a happy mystery occupy your thoughts while you're out clearing your mind.