Yesterday I walked around Lake Artemesia in College Park. I used to train there for the Avon Walk for Cancer but stopped after I no longer needed to walk every day and after a car accident made it painful to do so.
I had a little time between my job in College Park and the next assignment in Silver Spring so I headed over. I even had sneakers and socks in the car. I did not, however, have my ipod. During all my training, I had either Amanda, Andrew, another friend or my music to get me through it. I can't ever remember walking without something or someone to entertain me - and I rarely walked during the work day when it's quiet out. I thought it would be a boring, quiet walk. I was wrong.
It was noisy.
I heard ducks and sea gulls. I could hear kids playing at a school or playground not far away and it made me laugh because the sounds of the kids and the squeals of the sea gulls were remarkably similar. I never noticed that before. The ducks were playing. Their quacks sounded like laughter. The metro goes by one side of the park. It's loud but the sound is comforting to me. I'm not sure why. There's one area where the baby ducks hide in the spring. Now it whispers when I walk by - the breeze makes the tall grass talk to me.
There were a few people there but not many. One or two spoke. The others were walking or running. Thump. Thump. Thump. I could hear the runners come up behind me. Thump. Thump. Thump. They passed me.
The sound of crunching leaves revealed a family of squirrels playing hide and seek. There were little birds doing that, too. They don't really play with each other, though. I thought it would be more fun if they did.
On any other day I'd say it was quiet there. Peaceful might be a better word. And it was. I was calm, getting re-energized and paying attention to my surroundings in a way I don't often do. I thought to myself that in different circumstance where I was walking alone with no one nearby, I'd be nervous. There was no anxiety at all. All I could think of was how lucky I was to have a job that allows me to take a break occasionally and how much I love warm days in winter.
And then it was done. I was back and traffic and back to work. But I was still smiling.