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.)

176 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

      Like

  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!

        Like

  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.

      Like

  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 2 people

    • 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?

      Like

  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

  10. viewfromoverthehill April 2, 2020 / 12:35 pm

    Love your photos of the flowering trees. Our cherry blossom trees are in bloom right now and add some pleasure to my own daily walks, which I take on my own only. Take care of you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. America On Coffee April 2, 2020 / 4:24 pm

    How beautiful it is that nature is still taking on its course. I can definitely identify with your share. Stay safe!❤️❤️❤️☕️☕️☕️

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Crystal Byers April 2, 2020 / 6:40 pm

    After two weeks of spending too much time on my butt, my couch said, “Crystal, I think walking everyday would do you some good.” So that’s my plan for April—walk and focus on the good and blog and repeat.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 3, 2020 / 12:12 pm

      Hi, and thanks for sending the link. I’ve always liked his works, but hadn’t seen any in a long while.

      Like

  13. Dot April 4, 2020 / 12:19 pm

    There’re numerous spots making me laugh reading your prose. I can’t list them all, so I will take one example – you say “I wouldn’t bet my life on those statements though, because I’m almost as dumb as dirt when it comes to identifying flora”. But Neil you don’t appear to me as dumb as dirt identifying anything at all. On the contrary, you strike me as the most trustworthy type. I don’t know why, but you just do 🦌 Thanks for taking time to share such a good walk 🐧

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 4, 2020 / 3:28 pm

      Hi Dot, and thanks. A few minutes ago I walked thru the door after another walk in my neighborhood. As I walked I listened to an interview from 1979 with Edmund Hillary. In 1953, he and Tensing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Very good interview. See ya!

      Liked by 2 people

  14. grimspound April 5, 2020 / 12:15 pm

    Uplifting in these dark times, Neil. And gorgeous photos! Hope you’re staying safe and sanitized!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Silver Screenings April 5, 2020 / 9:42 pm

    It is snowing where I am right now, so I was gazing longingly at the flowers in your photo. Thanks for sharing this little bit of spring.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Alison April 7, 2020 / 3:13 pm

    Neil, you’re not alone. I mean that literally and figuratively. We’ll get through this. Stay strong and keep finding the beauty.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. KDKH April 8, 2020 / 10:10 am

    We have to plan our walks because our local walking trails are getting crowded! The dogs don’t care when or where we go; they just want to sniff new things. Their excitement is contagious!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. jeanleesworld April 11, 2020 / 7:27 am

    What beautiful trees! Sadly, we don’t have many flowering trees in our town. 😦 It doesn’t help that after a taste of summer we’re about to be slammed with snow. So much for an outdoor Easter Egg hunt, gah! Ah well. You take care, my friend, and have a blessed Easter!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. candidkay April 11, 2020 / 5:14 pm

    I am loving seeing so many people and dogs walking! I can’t help but think a little slowing down, a little introspection, is a very good thing. If only it didn’t take a deadly virus to make it happen . . .

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 11, 2020 / 7:42 pm

      I know what you mean.

      It’s important to spend time (safely) outdoors these days. Otherwise, cabin fever would set in very, very quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. Michele Anderson April 18, 2020 / 8:10 pm

    Beautiful pictures Neil. Getting outside, especially in the garden, is helping to keep me sane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 18, 2020 / 10:45 pm

      Hey there, Michele. Right, we need to keep normalcy in our lives as much as possible. Being outdoors a lot helps in that way.

      Like

  21. Christy B April 18, 2020 / 8:19 pm

    Thank you for sharing your walk and positive words with us, Neil!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger April 21, 2020 / 2:04 pm

      Hey there. Thanks for stopping by. Flowering trees are amazing, right? Thousands of petals on each tree!

      Like

  22. dweezer19 May 3, 2020 / 12:57 pm

    Amidst the chaotic degradation of our illusion of the world we thought we knew, there is also a deep awakening stirring among its most devoted inhabitants. The mind numbing spell of amnesiac distraction that has stalled humankind on its path to awareness has been threatened, for many even broken. They are looking up from their devices and longing to have what they most certainly are now being denied. True conversation, touch, the freedom to get out and run, breathe and do it without fear is now the commodity most sought after. Those who once ‘hated to shop’ now suddenly feel compelled to mask up and go out to buy truckloads of toilet paper while others who ‘hate to be at home’ are behaving as if their very right to live is being threatened because half of WalMart is closed off. I’m with you. I still find peace in Nature, in seeing the world we all take for granted far too much, while I am sober enough to accept that there are things out of our control; and just wanting it to go away, ignoring it like an unwanted guest, won’t be enough. Patience, perseverance, intelligence, even prayer will be the weapons of the wise against this invisible enemy.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger May 3, 2020 / 3:03 pm

      Hi there. Many thanks for adding your thoughts. You know, most of what goes on inside and around us is invisible to us — biological processes and entities, magnetic and electrical forces, etc. And we get along with most of these either naturally or via adaptation. Now we’ve come up against an “invisible” entity that isn’t co-existing with us very well at all. Hopefully a solution/defense will be discovered soon. Otherwise . . .

      Like

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