New encounters

87 degrees, sunny with some breeze. Mrs. Abstract kisses me goodbye. She is going to play Mexican Train with her friends from the Women’s Guild. I have a good reason to stay home and read.

Athletes subject themselves to “rigorous and exhausting discipline, giving up many comforts and pleasures.The contemplatives, (or monks) also submit themselves also to rigorous regimen.

When I consider the disciplines of the athletes and monks and compare them to myself I’m a small pebble in comparison. Their stories are distant but not too far away from me.

I pick my staff, and my cap and go out the house and start walking towards the river.

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A man, paraplegic, sitting on a wheelchair under a shade of a tree near the river, greets me with smile. He is enjoying the breeze. After a short conversation, we part after wishing each other a good day.

While standing on the river bank I see a sail boat with two riders coming to the inlet. I wave to them and the man greets me. I greet him back and wish the two riders a good day.

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Returning from the river I meet a gentleman wearing a yellow cap and sitting on a bench. We start talking. I am 93, he says when I ask him how old he is.

Returning home I see a man and his dog walking from the opposite end of the walkway.We exchange pleasantries. He introduces his dog as a cockerpood. He says it’s a breed between a cocker spaniel and a poodle. She is a quiet dog, hardly barks her master says.

My cell phone says 4 miles and 9,000 steps. It may not be accurate..

The meaning of reality is how one faces reality.

first things

Every journey begins with the first step
Or the first mistake
That’s not their vacation’s first day
But a day in the water, kayaking
They have never done it before
Like Icarus flying with man-made wings
Excitement hums, quiver of holding
The quill, the first words written
The power of the first decision
First acts of youth, memories are written.

They are in the water with others
all listening to the tour guide
history of the river, fauna and flora of the place,
prepare and be aware of dangers
mirth and fun and a mix of caution
What a day and days to come
They can be optimists.

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Reflections

I have been writing lately mainly about my walks
I’m not that old to know that nasturtiums are edible
The leaves are rich in vitamins and calcium
neglible bitterness which chard also possessed.

I like bitter melons and they are bitter
I don’t have to make it philosophical
like pain and rejections that acceptance makes us stronger

Sweat and scenery ride together each cajoling each other
like two friends ribbing and sometimes hurting each oher

When we were children ghosts made us cry and curious
We told our stories and we laughed.

We follow the bent of our mind with the best effort
without allowing any passing moment without uttering gratitude.

Without a car I am compelled to walk
Which begins as reluctance to accept
converts to a blessing and daily gratitude.

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What are these flowers?

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Part of the Riverfront walk. Cool and sunny. Nice cloud formations.

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Inside Oxbow Public Market

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Look for the white heron

Flowers on Memorial Day

Mrs. Abstract and I are trying to accomodate only one car. She has more activities every day than I do. She has the car this morning.

There is a Memorial Day celebration today at the Veterans Park in Downtown Napa on the Riverfront. The day is warm in the mid-80’s with a light cool breeze.

I walk to the Veteran Park, watch tpart of he ceremonies then continue my walk to Oxbow Public Market like one other day.

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nasturtiums

On my way to the Veterans Park I talk to a barechested man pruning his nasturtium. We talk for a bit. I learn that nasturtium is edible and has high nutritional value. He says one of the restaurants in town uses the blossoms in the salads.Are the leaves protective of the flowers from the sun?

The Veterans Park is all sunshine and has plenty of people, dignitaries and
speeches.

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Memorial Day celebration honoring the veterans
On my return home I selected one of the streets lined by tall redwood trees for the shade. Many front yards are planted with roses, white, pale pink, and red. I find one garden with yellow lillies. One frontyard has a white magnolia tree with blossoms on the top.

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With all these colors I’m empty of poetic lines.

After posting I will take a nap.

How to think your way

For six days in a row I have been walking for at least one hour each day. It was prompted by my heart doctor that I should be more commited to my health and fitness. I started reading a book, Let Your Mind Run, A Memoir of Thinking My Way to Victory by an American long distance runner and Olympic medalist, Deena Kastor, co-written with Michele Hamilton.

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It’s an honest, frank ,and inspiring story of how Deena Kastor started running, baring the essentials of her training and personal insights in what winning and losing mean. Her training helps her tremendously not just to be the best athlete but also how to be a better person.

I find that I can apply her training as a runner to me for my fitness and health. She wrote about how she inspires herself to enjoy the rigors of training. She says: “As an athlete I’ve found aside from hard work, the greatest tools for success are optimism and gratitude.These practices have led to happiness and the routine pause to realize I’m living the life I love and dreamed of.”

Her:blog

Today was warmer than yesterday.I walked for 75 minutes in the neighborhood.

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Promenade, books, and election

Today I parked near the library and returned a book I just finished reading, The Miscalculations of Lightning Girl by Stacey McNulty. Interesting story of a 12 year old girl who was hit by a lightning and survived.

I borrowed 2 books in return: Conversation on Writing by Ursula Le Guin and The Order of Time by Carlo Rovelli.

From the library I walked to the county Election Division Office and delivered my completed election ballot.
Primary election is 2 weeks away. We vote by mailed ballots.

Since I’m already in the downtown I meandered around took some photos of the colors of the day. Then I walked over to the Oxbow Market and bought dark chocolates and Italian Lemon cookies for Mrs. Abstract.

I didn’t record the time but my mobile phone recorded my steps: 6700 steps. Not much. It was more of a promenade.Lost in time.

There is a mode: Effects in my camera which I played around. I have not used it before.

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one of the art pieces in the Art Walk

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That’s white magnolia tree in bloom

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First Street looking south

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First Street looking north

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I’m walking at the Oxbow Commons towards Oxbow Market (with red color). photo taken by mobile phone.

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The Riverfront seen from First Street bridge in my return from Oxbow Market.

To walk another day

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To the river, along the river and over the river. That’s what I did in my walk to fitness today.

Today I drove to library to return a book, After Alice by Gregory Maguire, a book I joyously finished reading. A return to Wonderland of Alice. A return to childhood lightened my heart.

And I got a new book, Ordinary Light, A memoir, by Tracy K. Smith, the Poet Laureate of the United States. I also just finished Life on Mars, one of her book of poems.

From the libaray, I walked on the Riverfront , over a bridge then to the Vine Trail which connect to Kennedy Park.

The weather today was similar to yesterday, sunny with a cool breeze. I had to walk with a warmup top on.

today: 76 minutes.9,000 steps.
Yesterday: 11,000 steps.

I have to alternate in a certain way long and short distances.