a solitary walk

i took a walk today. alone.

a short walk, too. you could tell from the way the same song was stuck in my head the entire time.

it was cold, of course. it’s the eighth of january, and the wind was blowing a special kind of icy breeze. but that woke me up. the frigid bites at my face traveled through to my mind. i was of new sorts, clear headed and aware.

and i’d never felt more at peace. i felt a compulsion to isolate myself, i felt a desire to be completely alone. i kept looking at the river, panning my view around to include the sky and the branches between the sky and me.

the way the tiny waves of the river just kept lapping gently along, never ceasing, a simple comfort of continuance. the slow metronome of one foot in front of the other caused me to look down and admire the ease of an ambulatory escape.

a simple journey of steps. with an abundance of nature on every side. hardly anyone out along with me: not many others caring to brave the winter for twenty minutes of thoughts usually stuck quiet in the back of the mind.

but oh, did i find those thoughts.

for the first time in a long time, so long i had almost stopped remembering that this could exist.
a moment spent with only myself
without doubts and fears and hatred seeping in,
without haunting repetitions of the bad thoughts that came with being alone—
i was myself, by myself, and okay with it.

and i found a railroad i forgot existed.
i climbed the hill, looked left and right at it. i sat in the middle for a litle bit.
closed my eyes, almost cried.

there was such a forgotten peace—
in the way i knew that, on a track for something so imminent, i was safe.

there were a few others, walking along the river, in the middle of the winter:

i saw a couple turn around near the start of the trail
because there was a teenage boy ahead of them
sitting with his head down, shielded from the cold
dressed in black, with a skateboard at his side.

and i saw a woman sitting alone under the awning of the gazebo.
it didn’t do much in shielding her from the wind.
but that was not her concern
she was too focused on something out of focus, in the distance, a memory found in blurred vision.

i saw a dad taking his little son for a walk,
the boy skipping along with a quickly summoned exuberance
for every little thing,
and his father more focused on the terrible cold
than the smiles his son kept giving him.

and on my way back, it was a lot colder,
the wind blew at my face instead of my back.
so i slowed my steps and
concentrated the weight of walking
towards a pensive return
as to better coexist
with nature’s breaths.

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