It was cold today, but that didn't stop us from taking a pre-dinner walk outside. My plan was to leave the house while it was still light out and be out walking the neighborhood as it turned to dusk.
We are all a little antsy in the late afternoon. Work is wrapping up for the day and yet I sit at my monitor just in case one more email comes in. My to-do list has only three checks on it. The empty boxes are mocking me. I need to get outside.
The girls have gone from games to drawing to playing and are just about to start causing little rows. So we threw on our hodge-podge of it's-cold-but-we-live-in-California attire (jackets, dresses, scarves, shoes with no socks) and prepare to head out. Before we could leave Bunny needed to get her diary. Wallie grabbed her stuffed rabbit.
We had no destination. No planned route. Just walking. Breathing in the crisp air, sometimes scented with burning wood from some fireplace or the oniony scent of a dinner being cooked. Bunny stopped to jot down notes or do some leaf rubbings. Wallie bent to study how wet leaves had left their imprints on the sidewalk. She also pointed out all the bases of all the trees where she thought dogs went pee. "That's a really good one for peep-ing," she'd acknowledge with 4-year-old's confidence and authority.
My beautiful girls. They surprise me with their vast knowledge of flora and fauna. They actually do listen to my running "lavender, magnolia, agapanthus, gingko, maple, fritillaria, oak" commentary. They soak in vocabulary from one of their favorite books, a nature encyclopedia that was given to my younger sisters 30 years ago. They are interested in every little detail. Wallie finds leaf-covered bushes hysterical. I point out that they look like cakes with sprinkles on top. I marvel at how easy conversation is flowing because sometimes the house doesn't make for great talks. I vow to make time every day for tiny adventures like this then mentally kick myself for being cliché.
"That house is for sale," says Bunny, seeing the sign. "When are we moving?" I think she senses my restlessness. I am not sure if it's the change of the season or the post-election lull or the fact that we've been spending lots of time in the East Bay lately just driving around, but I'm feeling "on the verge." I'm ready to get outta Dodge, but that can't happen just yet. Or even at all, I'm not sure. I tell her we are staying put, at least for the time being, and she looks disappointed. "Maybe in the summer?..." she asks. "Maybe," I reply.
And so we continue walking. Far from our house, but not far enough so that I'll end up having to carry Wallie's rabbit, jacket and maybe even Wallie herself, home. When we've decided we've gone far enough, we cross the street then turn back towards home. We can't stuff anymore leaves into our pockets anyway, and it's getting dark. So we run.