When weather permits I always prefer walking the two miles
to my office each morning
I'm fortunate that I live in a colonial town with countless streets, alleyways,
and homes that hearken back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
Despite taking this walk nearly every morning, there is always something new to see,
always a fence I haven't peered over before....
or a secret garden or rear dooryard that's hitherto gone unnoticed.
I love to mark the seasons on these morning strolls.
The appearance of pumpkins, bright foliage, and pots of crysanthemums in Autumn;
the bare trees limned against grey skies and snow-capped iron fences in winter;
the sudden emergence of green shoots, spring bulbs, and budding trees in Spring;
and then the heavy canopies of green overhead and the scent of flowering gardens
throughout the summer months.
But now? Now my path is littered with leaves of all colors,
some of them matted to the slick brick pavement with last night's rain
Some eddying in whirls in front of doorways
as they get caught up in the blustery wind.
The street I walk along is at a comfortable midpoint of a very long hill,
and so depending upon which way you look....
you are either at the bottom of a steep cobbled path...
or at the top of an even steeper road.
The houses are built along the pavement,
with only the pedestrian path separating them
from what was once a dirt carriage road.
The narrowness of the road becomes all too apparent when cars are parked along one side, and you try to drive one way whilst another car is approaching from the opposite direction. The inclination is to inhale and squint your eyes and hope you can pass safely without brushing against one another!
There are lovely architectural elements to each home.
My favorites are the dormers that jut out over the pavement.
Easy enough to imagine myself having a chair in one of the bay windows
... a place to read or to simply watch life on the road below.
There are favorite houses that make me pause and sigh a little.
A dear yellow cottage...
A grey house, sloped on a hill...
And a row of houses I call the Four Sisters....
all identical, save for the color of their dresses!
Occasionally I'll be bold and peer through a window.
Or imagine myself living in rooms in this old hotel.
(The climb at night would be a detriment!)
But how lovely to be lost in its labyrinth
of walkways and railings and to call it home.
There are houses on hills...
And grand houses set back a bit from the road...
And old street lamps to light the way on dark mornings.
It's a calming way to start the day, affording me a barometer of the seasons,
and a glimpse into a vanished past.