Walking around a lockdown


It’s time to get up from my old chair, step out from a front door that is new to me and take an everyday walk around a locked-down neighborhood. The neighborhood itself is beautiful, and wonderful to explore. We have hills to keep us in shape, streets to walk, and glorious weather from sun to misted rain. There is even a forested neighborhood park that makes me believe I have moved far away from civilization.

But I have moved to Olympia, Washington and straight into a stay-at-home order. Like most everyone in the world, I seek some sense of normalcy, so I continue my daily walks. Now, instead of new cities and countries and continents, I explore near-by streets, and if I’m lucky, a new path through the close-by forested park.

Today I head out through my backyard onto a cut-off hilltop that I have named Pixie Woods. A tiny grassy meadow circles a large water tank, and trees – probably a dozen whose names I do not know – grow everywhere. I look straight up from my footsteps and I see limb after limb and leaf after leaf and beyond that, blue sky. I look down to my shoes and see moss and lichen and ferns and hundreds of small growing things. They might be weeds, but are so delicate that I cannot imagine anyone wouldn’t want them growing in profusion, as they are doing now around each of my footsteps. I am from a place of perpetual drought, so the faint color in the pin-sized flowers make me feel protective – how do these fragile growing things survive?

I pass through the small park and walk on a main road that takes me up to the top of the hill I live on. Overlook Park is here. Today clouds near and far hide Mt. Rainier, an iconย  I had assumed I would have visited by now, two months after I moved to this place where there is so much to explore, but not right now, not for anyone, including me.

I am lamenting too much. In the midst of an earthly microbe showing us how powerless we are, everyone in my household is healthy. That, all by itself, should give me more comfort than I have ever deserved. Even the tiny weeds with their shy flowering bits should give me hope.

So, my walk is grateful. Really, truly filled with gratitude, even if I have to force it just a bit. Because day after day, the same walk can become boring in its beauty. Maybe I haven’t, by some good fortune, been infected with a virus, but I have always been infected with restlessness and that large failure of simply being human. My mind keeps craving a walk to Tumwater Falls, to Priest Point Park, and to the Nisqually Nature Reserve, all close-by but for now, off-limits. So I take a deep breath, and in good moments, am satisfied with the smallness of this neighborhood, beautiful and safe.

I walk back up to my new-to-me front door, and practice patience. This unknown home town will still be here in a little while, when it is safe to explore.



Finally, back with the worldwide walking group of the famous RJo!

Please join the Monday Walkย with RestlessJo and friends:

26 Replies to “Walking around a lockdown”

  1. My Bro decided that 2020 would be the year that he would walk every street in town. He showed me the map yesterday confirming that he has just about met that goal already, with extra walking time due to Covid19. He has started working on the next town over (which is really just across a street a few over). The Mrs. and I have been doing what we call the “caged tiger” walk when working on the Covid19 units. Up and down the hallway, keeping ourselves awake and ready at 2 a.m. Interesting “new adventure” near the ending time of our careers. Cuz-O

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  2. Why did you make the move, hon? Frustrating to have all that potential on your doorstep. We have teeny pink wildflowers growing on some of our trails. You do wonder how they ever survive. ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚ Looking forward to the time when you can venture further. Grateful for the link, meanwhile.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RJo – our son moved here a year ago, and we followed. It really is a beautiful area, and we look forward to seeing more of it. You know a thing or two about moving from one place to another – frustrations and joys all wrapped up in the process. Life is always a surprise!

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  3. Hope you get to explore further soon. The PNW is a glorious place. I get to hike every day on an urban forest trail that surrounds a golf course up here in Vancouver, and we have plenty of tiny flowers, and buttercups! It’s a superbloom year for buttercups.
    This too shall pass, and if we’re lucky sooner rather than later. And yeah, why did your move?

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    1. Alison – Our son moved up here, and we had always thought of slow-moving around the globe (spending a several-month or year span in a place, then moving on) This may be our home-base forever, and if so – you’re so right – what a gorgeous place. We just had a passing rain storm, and for this California girl, there’s a delicious cleanliness all around ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope you have a nice hike today.

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  4. Susan, we love to walk-about. It is funny, we have seen our neighbors more walking these days. Good conversations from across the street. I go to trails a lot, but on weekends they get to crowded and not everyone is mindful of social distancing. Enjoy getting out. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Keith – We are getting to know – or at least get familiar with – our new neighbors from a social distance. It’s a different ritual, but getting out helps me think that things will normalize. I do wonder, after nearly three months of this, if I will need to introduce myself to longer walks in bits and pieces. Even the new familiarity is a comfort, after this big move ๐Ÿ™‚ Good health to you and yours – Susan

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  5. Wait… did I know about this move to the PNW? With my memory lately, who knows. Anyway, you are in such a gorgeous area (as you were before). We have friends in Olympia and have enjoyed seeing their city through their eyes on a few of our visits. Iโ€™m sure more areas will open up soon but, in the meantime, enjoy your walks in your beautiful neighborhood.

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    1. Janis – Yes, we left the beautiful Central Coast against the advice of everyone who lives there, but, aside from our timing, are eager to explore this new area. Ferries await! I may have mentioned our plans a time or two, but the move itself and all the related brou-ha-ha kept me away from blogs for many months. Back now, and looking forward to reading yours again!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Well this is a surprise! From a bungalow by the beach in California to the trees of Washington! It must all seem very different to you and quite exciting too. I read that you have moved to be closer to your son, let’s hope he doesn’t move again! Personally I would want to stay close to the sea, but as you mention there are ferries to take you to lots of interesting areas once life begins to be normal again, if it ever will.

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      1. You’ve inspired us to give thought to starting to integrate our life during and after travel in Simpletravel. It’s becoming clearer that it’s been a journey whether on the road or “home.” Will you be doing the same? We’ll look forward to that!

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  7. Yaaaay! You’re back!!! We have missed you so much, Susan. What a time to be settling into a new home, but you’ve moved to a gorgeous part of the world and will hopefully be able to explore farther afield soon. We lived in Oregon – Eugene and Newport – for a while and loved getting to know the PNW. We can’t wait to hear all about your new adventures. Hugs, Terri

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terri – Thanks so much :))) You planned your recent move much better than we did. We left California the day the lock-down was announced, and arrived -with our small U-Haul – in Washington two days before the stay-at-home order. All small inconveniences, considering we are healthy in the midst of everything. Love the new look on your blog – I’ll be following with great interest – Cheers- Susan

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Home development planners have made many changes over the decades from when we all lived in suburban developments in Sunnyvale (did you really live but a mile away & we hardly knew each other… oh, yes, I was but a child and you nearly an adult… time gets closer as we get older). There, the developers scraped the ground of top-soil, built houses, planted new trees and shrubs, maybe, fenced in yards, and faced garages to be the prominent feature for entering and exiting without regard for nature. More developments and communities are setting aside public spaces, such as walks in the woods, along creeks and wet places, which should not be built on anyway. Happy Trails. Cuz-O


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