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.

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

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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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.

Walking back to fitness

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note: Instead of walking to the river from the condo I did something slightly different today.

Mrs. Abstract and I drove to Synergy, the Wellness Center next to the hospital, While she was doing her aquatic exercises I walked to the Woodlands Trail, 1.2 miles paved trail, which runs along Napa River. It took me 15 minutes to get to the trailhead. I am a slow walker.The temperature was in the high 60’s with a cool breeze. The trail is lined by trees and really a forest between the trail and Napa River. Lot of shadows on the trail with some patches in open air and all sunny.

I Walked the trail then walked back to Synergy. I worked out for 45 minutes then returned home.

I have to gain back my cardiac fitness. Last time I saw my physician, he told me I was getting lazy. I was not doing enough of my fitness program. Remember I had my cardiac surgery January 2017.

A friend picked up Mrs. Abstract after her aquatics and they went to lunch.

Walking backwards

I like to walk backwards
like dancing tango without a partner
my toes on the threshold of the past
my heel on the door of the present
the imbalance feels auckward and untidy
makes me falls backward into the future
my thoughts entangled, confused.
The teacher looks at my notebook full of doodles
she smiles and shakes her head
I always forget to bring an eraser
A girl points to me my mistakes
We become friends and adventurers,
thinking we can fix broken things ourselves
We laugh at our perils
Like you and me, now, at forty five.

ordinary things

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The ordinary things that sing and comfort
The birds and my sandals
My morning walk expands my morning
Carrying a book and stopping
and sit on benches along the way
to read and maybe write a note or two
my feet and pages get along
like kindlings to start a fire.

My voice bounces in greetings
when I meet other walkers
their dogs running towards me
I walk and read and say hello
what other wonders do a day offers
to lift the spirits?

note: photo of the palm tree in front of the door of our condo.

Encounters

How many of 7,401,858,841 humans have you encountered?
Imagine a universe of possible connections.

When I arrive low tide has almost emptied the river
Revealing muddy banks and signs of old dredging.
A fisherman immersed in his cell phone laments
Absence of fish, a blue heron is tiptoeing beside him.

A cyclist-friend walks with his bike with me,
Says his father has been seeing butterflies
Fluttering on his bedroom wall in the morning
A slow narrative increasing in length.

I chat with a whistling man
Walking his corgi diminishes, he says,
His disillusionment in life. He starts
Remembering the different kinds of trees.

The hills are yellowing before me
Before the summer solstice.
Seedless watermelons selling for $4.99 each
Outside a grocery store next to a bank.

That night I hear
An angelic voice singing a lullaby
Which comforts me
To a deep sleep.

if you walk tomorrow, bring water in a bottle
and an extra step. The whole day may be hot.