No more the twenty-mile commute each way in rush hour traffic. Now I walk to work, through a continually astonishing landscape. And people are friendly. Friendly! They say "hi" and "good morning". Children -- they'll stop on their tiny bikes, look up at me and smile. Dogs wag. Even the cats run down driveways to greet me.
Yesterday, on my walk home, I saw a man playing catch with his son in the street. I saw a teenager using a skate board for transportation. I saw a man jogging, a bulldog at his heels. A woman tending her parking-strip vegetables: onions, beets, potatoes, spring lettuces, carrots just beginning to show their feather-tops. I saw peonies so lush and ruffled and deeply pink they made me want to weep. I saw chickens in an A-frame coop: cluck. Knee-high sunflowers. I inhaled the scent of irises: root beer!
It's the time of year now when I can walk out my front door for a stroll around the block that will generally take at least an hour -- and not because it's any great distance. I am once again inhabiting a social landscape, absent of the cookie-cutter shrubbery, the chemical lawns, the guarded-fortresses of the 'burbs that, for all intents and purposes, have alligatored-moats.
(I've dropped the letter "u" from the word "morning" and have modified it with the word "good".)