A Springtime Walk To Try And Take My Mind Off Of Things

I’ve been doing a little of this and a little of that of late, most of it nothing to write home about. You see, my routine has been thrown way off as a result of coronavirus. Yours probably has been too. Due to that health catastrophe, my volunteer jobs have been suspended and the places I like to hang out in — restaurants, movie theaters, music venues, to give some examples — have closed their doors, leaving me with shitloads more time on my hands than I’m used to. I’ve yet to use that time productively.

But my situation counts as absolutely nothing compared with the state of affairs worldwide. Tens of millions suddenly are without paychecks. Countless businesses and institutions very well might collapse. And people are succumbing in scary numbers to coronavirus. Holy crap, holy crap, holy crap. I have a sinking feeling. And when I say sinking, I mean sinking.

What will become of us? To try and protect ourselves, and to try and contain the virus, we stay in our homes as much as possible, practice social distancing when we leave the house, wash our hands numerous times each day, and use antiseptic wipes on potentially-suspect objects and surfaces. But, looking at the big picture, will any of that make much difference ultimately if an effective vaccine and/or other effective medical treatment isn’t developed in the very foreseeable future? Or if coronavirus doesn’t peter out on its own? I’m normally a fairly optimistic guy, but my answer is no. After all, in the twinkling of an eye, life as we know it has been turned on end. And right now there’s no reason to think that things won’t disintegrate far more than they already have.

“Yo, Neil,” I hear at least a couple of you yelling, “you’re bumming us the f*ck out! That’s enough, partner. Knock it off!”

I hear you, believe me. I’ve been bumming myself the f*ck out too, and for quite a while, as you can tell. Which is why, when I went for a walk on March 21 to try and take my mind off the current state of affairs, I had a potentially uplifting purpose in mind. The night before, driving home after buying take-out food from a restaurant, I’d noticed that some flowering trees around the corner from my house had burst into color. Thus, my plan on the 21st was to check out the flora in my suburban Philadelphia neighborhood and also in a neighborhood of a nearby, bordering township.

Now, walking is one part of what-had-been-my-routine that the coronavirus calamity hasn’t disrupted. Since early January, for personal health reasons, I’ve been hitting the pavement, in one locale or another, four or five times each week. Thirty minutes or more each session. That’s the most exercise I’ve gotten in years. And, knock on wood, so far I’ve enjoyed the regimen more than I’d have guessed I would.

Anyway, I embarked on the trek at about 1:30 PM. The skies gleamed, their blues a welcome sight for eyes in need of perking up. As I figured would be the case, green leaves hadn’t sprouted anywhere, though budding was in progress. Green’s domination over the browns of winter was another week or two away from taking place.

But, damn straight, some flowering trees were doing their thing, and that made a big difference. We’re talking magnolia and cherry trees, I think, and maybe a pear tree of one sort or another (I wouldn’t bet my life on those statements though, because I’m almost as dumb as dirt when it comes to identifying flora). Whatever, although the flowering tree performance normally doesn’t begin till early April or later, the milder-than-average temperatures that we’d had in the winter months pushed up the schedule. I let the trees’ pink, red and white petals grab me. The colors felt pretty good.

Other splashes of springtime colors were around. I spotted a few azaleas showing off their purple plumage. Forsythia bushes, which had opened in my region two weeks prior, looked damn fine in their mustard yellow. And the smattering of ground-level flowers on the properties brightened things up a bit too, especially the patch of small, yellow wildflowers in one yard.

What really struck me though, in this time of coronavirus precautions, was that I saw far more people than I’d expected to, which gave the afternoon a sense of normalcy. For instance: a father with his two young daughters, all on bikes; two middle-aged guys shooting hoops with a kid on a sidewalk basketball set-up; people sitting in their yards; four or five ambitious sorts hammering and sawing away, in their driveways or garages, at one project or another.

All told, at least 40 people crossed my field of vision during the hour I spent wandering around. I exchanged hellos with a bunch of them. None of them, or me, was doing anything that, virus-wise, might be problematic. That’s what medical people say, anyway. It’s okay to be outside, according to the experts, as long as you keep your distance from others.

And so, I recorded another entry in my Book Of Walks. The excursion was a good one. As spring progresses, the walks, I believe, will become even better. Lots more flowering trees and shrubs to gaze at. Lots more colors to absorb. Hats off to all of that.

(Comments are welcomed. Ditto for sharing this article.)

140 thoughts on “A Springtime Walk To Try And Take My Mind Off Of Things

  1. selizabryangmailcom March 28, 2020 / 4:45 am

    What a nice walk.
    Great images. So pretty, and promising.
    Thanks for sharing, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Librarylady March 28, 2020 / 10:18 am

    Wow, you get more comments than anyone I know. How do you do it? Anyway, I love your beautiful spring pictures. We still have snow on the ground. Sigh. But oh those cherry trees, can’t wait till they start blooming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 28, 2020 / 12:06 pm

      Hey there. I guess the snow will be gone from your region pretty soon. I live in southeast Pennsylvania, which normally gets a good bit of snow. This winter, though, we had almost none.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ken Dowell March 28, 2020 / 12:19 pm

    Well, the pictures are pretty. Especially on a gray, dreary rainy day like the one we are probably both having.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 28, 2020 / 1:36 pm

      Hello there, Ken. Yeah, I’d like to go out for a walk today, but it doesn’t seem that the rain will let up. Maybe it’ll stop in a few hours.

      Take care, and thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. notesoflifeuk March 28, 2020 / 3:07 pm

    Wonderful photos. I haven’t been for a walk since last Sunday, but I think the weather is turning (again).

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 28, 2020 / 5:33 pm

      Hello, and thanks for visiting. I hope that the weather clears up soon, so that you can stretch your legs. We all need to go out on walks these days. They help to keep us from obsessing over the pandemic. See you —

      Neil Scheinin


  5. carolinehelbig March 28, 2020 / 6:09 pm

    Neil, you were definitely bumming me out at the start, but I get it. I go to that sinking place a lot too. Thanks for ending on a positive note. The flowering trees are awesome. I hope you experience more uplifting neighbourhood walks.

    Liked by 1 person

      • carolinehelbig March 28, 2020 / 8:24 pm

        People are scared. They’re staying home. Parks are closed but I still see folks on neighbourhood walks, though it’s pouring rain today. There’s a bad outbreak at a care home about 12 miles from here with sadly 11 deaths. Sorry, that probably didn’t help you. I’m trying to stay positive…online yoga next!


  6. Cindy March 29, 2020 / 12:07 am

    The irony of this deadly virus “blooming” at the same time our beautiful plants and trees are is tough to reconcile. But like you, we go out walking (and taking photos) almost every day. The groves of cherry trees along Kelly Drive are profusely pink right now. It’s impossible not to be inspired by their beauty. Mother Nature might be a bitch, but she’s a goddess, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 29, 2020 / 7:44 am

      It’s good that both of you are taking walks. You have beautiful areas near your home. Maybe there are a few places to walk in (park grounds or side streets) that you’ve never been on. If so, they are waiting for the two of you.


  7. cath March 30, 2020 / 11:51 am

    Beautifully saved, Neil. I’m glad you found us such lovely colours to lift the mood, and how nice that other people were out enjoying the fresh air. That, surely is an upside.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 30, 2020 / 3:05 pm

      Hello there. I’m going to go for a walk soon today, once it stops raining. It’s good to get out of the house, even if only for a little while.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. crowcityblog March 30, 2020 / 3:20 pm

    Hang in there Neil. Nature doesn’t care and there’s a funny comfort in that when we get out and experience it’s beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger March 30, 2020 / 4:15 pm

      Hey there. Thanks for dropping by. How much is the virus on your mind, given the nature of your job?


  9. Pam Lazos March 31, 2020 / 9:52 pm

    People are going crazy inside and thank goodness it’s spring and not winter or there might be more problems than just corona! Love the flowery walk, Neil.

    Liked by 1 person

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