Sentimental Journey

Park on the hill

I just returned from a brisk morning walk around the hood. Bundled up to brace the frigid 43° air, in no time I realized that my “get up” resembled a misguided fashionista touring Antartica compared to the others in their sleek running gear. A confirmation of too many covid days spent overprotecting oneself from the virus and the chilly winter air.

That aside, what a treat to hear the early morning bird calls that exist outside my own little sanctuary. Different voices and patterns. Nice. Usually when I do a couple loops around the neighborhood I’m deep in thought and since it’s a well worn route, less observant than I am this morning. Feeling invigorated I made a quick change of plans and decided to briskly walk up the hill to the nearby children’s park. Though it used to be part of my weekend routine, I admit I have not visited once since dear Riley died four years ago. It’s not like it was his favorite place because that was home and home alone. He would tolerate walks down at the harbor but his favorite part was heading back to the car. He would tolerate walks up the hill and play at the park because he was with me. It’s funny but normal how memories do come flooding back based on a scent or a sight and boy did they come back this morning.

The first thing I recalled was the time I ran into a gentleman with his unusually large purebred dog who I commented on. Oh he was so proud of his dog like he was “the” acquisition and after going on and on he noticed my purebred, King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, saying he looked like a nice enough mutt. I was offended but I’m a nice person so I smiled and walked away.

What I did not expect was a flood of emotions as I stood on the grassy hill where Riley once reluctantly played. As I took in the view or checked my emails he was always overly anxious about it all; at the ready to head for home sweet home. I doubt that he was ever able to take a deep breath and enjoy the view from the top of the hill as I did. Dogs aren’t like that really. If yours is I’d love to meet them. Such a beloved quirky little soul. Still missed with every fiber of my being.

Next time I’ll stay a little longer, go there when it’s a little warmer. Today’s visit was an unexpected sentimental journey that I do plan to take again soon.

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