The sight stopped me in a near-stumble. I jerked my head to the left, staring before snapping this once-in-a-walk image.
Questions pounded my brain walls:
How long have these oak sprouts been here?
What made our tree police suddenly shout “Green!”
Did last week’s U.N. climate change report finally awaken city fathers?
A mid-July lightning bolt had zapped one oak tree, splitting it in two. It was a beautiful, natural strike. Destructive natural art remained. Tears followed.
Suburbia struck back in a wood frenzy, removing four trees in response to Mother Nature’s single zap. Where I live, we don’t remove damage. We play Whack A Tree. To ensure nothing stands in weather’s way, we haul in the Big Equipment and ground down the leftovers - all the way down to nuttin’, baby.
In my new man-made walking ground, I sought, and found, a gift: Starfish Bevo. See it/him? A horizontal figure on the right up there. Oak ground bits resembling quinoa. My new morning breakfast?
For weeks, I checked my little tree star every day. Then New Normal became Sidewalk Path. I forgot Loss.
Upon looking closer, my smile broadened.
Starfish Quinoa has a buddy. Shade.
Mornings like this urge me outdoors every dawn. Five mile walk, six a‑m start. 2372 walks since April, 2012. Yes, I counted.
I walk daily to remain healthy.
Today reminded me of a second reason: to see. When I opened my eyes — really opened them — I saw new life and second chances.
Right around the corner surrounding a trifecta of trees.
How personal, meaningful can a little daily walk become?