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Ours was a brisk walk in the evening; one breezy night … I decided to take Lucky out for a quick walk, since Vince and Mireille were both studying. The cats in the backyard had already been fed, and dinner was sitting on the stove, having just been cooked. I immediately noticed how uncharacteristically cool the nighttime air was. There were a few clouds in the evening sky, and the moon was bright. My plan was to take Lucky on a quick one mile jaunt through the neighborhood, catch a bit of whatever was leftover from this evening’s dinner, shower up, and go to bed.
We live in a characteristically, almost “cookie cutter” standard Northern California subdivision. The streets were wide, the houses were five or so floor plans; almost humdrum upon a passing glance. Walking the neighborhood, however; not driving through it, not being holden to a set of training expectations, served to reveal uniqueness in this place which was normally hidden to me.
I could hear the buzz of conversations from behind open windows, and see the flickering of televisions from behind closed curtains. It was later in the evening than when Lucky normally gets outside, so there were far fewer instances where I would be able to catch the aroma of a family’s dinner, as I strode past their home.
I thought about how it felt, one early, early morning, as I drove into San Francisco. The highways were almost abandoned, and a radio station was playing some of the best jazz which I’d heard in a long time. I wondered how it would be like to live in the City, once again. The radio stations play a far different variety of music than is available in the Sacramento area. There is certainly a different vibe to the City. There is a sense of intrigue, certainly, to unfamiliar things; all the more so for me, since I once lived there when I was still an undergrad.
Lucky began to breathe harder, as we rounded a corner about a half mile from home. I had decided to take a longer route, and we had walked for about a little over two miles by that point. The breeze had sustained itself, but it was getting noticeably cooler outside. I wasn’t uncomfortable, because I had maintained a brisk pace (“power walking”), but Lucky was beginning to feel his age at this point. His tail was still curled upward, but –again- he was beginning to pant a bit.
I slowed down the pace, and we turned down one last street on our way home. Lucky plopped down on the driveway, as I briefly stretched outdoors. It was a nice walk. A chore had transformed itself into a gift for me, that evening. I discovered that the kids had eaten dinner, and had resumed their studies. I surveyed some morsels which they had left for me on the stove, while Lucky lapped up some water and plopped down upon the Jiu Jitsu mats. I showered up, fed Lucky, and then contemplated the richness of my life, between bites of this evening’s dinner and jazz selections from Pat Metheny and Billy Higgins.