Sunday, June 02, 2019

A little contrast

Went out for a longer walk today. It's nice going out early in the day (I left at like 7:30). It's quiet, especially on a Sunday, and it's cooler. (There was still haze today from the fires in Canada, but it seemed less-bad than yesterday).

I took a different route today (I try to take a slightly different one every day: partly for the novelty but partly because one of the things instilled in my brain as a young woman was "vary your walking route if you walk to work or school, so people can't pick up on it and follow you or anything").

One of the things I like about walking is it's quiet. My parents' neighborhood (and those around it) are pretty quiet places (Quieter, it seems, than my town, where there's always that jerk with a boom car or someone with a poorly-tuned vehicle, or that couple that has fights outside).

Here, mostly what I hear is birdsong, and passing cars, and the wind in the trees, and traffic out on the interstate a couple miles away, and the occasional wind chime or barking dog. (All the dogs I have seen have been either behind fences or on leashes - another difference from my town, where there are random roaming dogs and you never know if they're friendly or not).

And yes, one of the things I like about walking is the chance to be alone with my thoughts - or with not-thoughts, as the case may be, where I just pay attention to the sounds or the sights or even the scents (though a lot of the things that were blooming when I first got up here have finished by now)

Anyway, as I was coming back, I met up with a young woman (walking a very large dog that looked something like a wolf). She had something playing - listening to a conversation on her iPhone. (Because I am Old, my first thought was, "oh, she's listening to some kind of radio broadcast/show" but I bet it was actually a podcast). I could continue to hear it for a long while after she had passed.

And it struck me. How different people are in their preferences. When I am out walking, I just want the quiet and the ambient sounds. But other people don't want that; they want the sound of human voices or music. (Not worse, not better, just different). However, when I'm working out in my house (on the cross-country ski exerciser) I must have music (or at least a news station on the radio, to get caught up on the news) because that is so boring to me that I need something else to think about.

And when I'm stuck here at my parents' house alone, it helps to have the tv on (noise) even if I am just half-watching, because it distracts me from the pops and creaks the house makes - which are different from the pops and creaks my own house makes.

But sometimes, yes, it's nice - or at least I find it nice - to go out and only hear birds and the quiet "whoosh" of a passing car, or the occasional wind chime. And to smell the flowering plants people have planted, or the occasional dryer sheet scent carried on someone's dryer exhaust, or the cookout smell of someone with a grill going...It reminds me there's a whole world going on outside what's going on in my mind.

No comments: