I hadn't realized how much I missed evening strolls in my city until I finally got to do it again. I began stepping down soon after the world started operating from home. I'd probably walked around my locality a thousand times before that, but I never paid attention up close until last year. Once my intent shifted from fresh air to fresh perspective, there was no turning back. On some days, like this one, when I wished to write but had nothing to say, I even sought inspiration in my surroundings, and often, found it.
Today's evening started like any other day. Slippers on, headphones placed, bag in hand. I usually begin in a direction, and then let the roads take me wherever they will. An open window on the first floor of some apartment happened to catch my eye. An elderly couple seemed to be watching television. They paused every once in a while to converse and laugh. Old couples have my heart. Having spent a lifetime together, they embody everything I dream about. So, although a seemingly ordinary sight, I spent an eerie amount of time looking into that window.
Unfortunately, my feel-good vibes were short-lived. I reached my favorite spot along the way, an area where a line of passenger buses are parked, only to find that the family I had been secretly watching wasn't there anymore. The kids, the parents, the makeshift house - it was all gone. Something akin to loss passed over me, especially since the twinkle in the youngest one's eye gave me a hope and resolve every time I passed by them. I wonder if they're safe. I wonder if they're in a better position than when I last saw them. I wonder if they know that they aren't invisible to the world; and that somebody out there thinks about them everyday, that somebody genuinely cares.
All was not lost though. I did get to see a lot of pups out for their exercise. The most adorable little goldens, stopping in their tracks to play with the strays. The baffling part was that all the parents were otherwise occupied by their gadgets. I certainly understand the horror of being left alone with your thoughts, the mind unrestrained and left to its own device. But nothing could overpower the company of a furry playmate. I hope Mylo has more involved parents.
A dozen more contemplations later, which I'll save for another day, I made my way back home. A small detour to get desserts capable of curing a year's worth of heartache, a quick stop to greet my favorite vendor, a final song to capture the mood, and I was back to finish the night with a perfect dinner.
Caprice, curiosity, compassion. Quiet observation, no lessons. Painless nostalgia. Fascinating day, I must be growing up.