Sunday, December 20, 2009

I think I learned to enjoy walking at night from my aunt. I remember strolling around town with her after dinner at my Grandma's, talking about street lights, family, and things that seem cool when you're talking to an travelled aunt, and you're twelve. She told me she liked looking into peoples' windows. I think she then promptly realized it sounded a bit creepy (although it was over my head) and quickly tried to explain it. I got it right away, though. Simple glimpses into people's lives. A dinner table here, someone watching t.v. there, dinner dishes getting done. Such brief and routine wonder at whole worlds that exist apart from yours.
It's extra nice this time of year. Christmas trees from the tacky to the classy, velvet bows pinned on window curtains. Town on a Friday night. More then five cars on main at once. Occasional teenagers in hoodies smelling of axe and cigerrettes. Dark window shopping and street lights.
Weather so mild it feels like spring and you pull your hood off.
A day inside reading "short prose" is just a little too long. This soggy snow must be of some benefit. The stretch smells of stored apples as I pass the fruit stands. I like walking at night. It's a probably bad habit that followed me around the world. For years I've pounded off frustration, wanderlust, and restlessness by pulling on my touque or sandals and taking off into the fading light, or complete darkness. I usually talk to myself or God. Sometimes I kick telephone posts, sometimes I run, sometimes I jump around like some kind of ballet crossover. I've been known (to myself) to laugh out loud or sit alone in some forgotten corner.
Tonight I got to walk past all the Christmas lights. Actually enjoy them. LED icicles and those white reindeer grazing in front yards. The most over-the-top of all was on my route. I'm pretty sure every town has those few houses that seem to battle it out with an over array of lights. You know, manger scene on the small side of the lawn, santa and his reindeer dominating the other. What I'd never realized before was that some part of the display plays twinkly Christmas carols. I stood a while listening to "silent night."
So, my night on the town. came back after my fill of fresh night air and refocussing.

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