If I Hadn’t Walked This Afternoon #SOLC19

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If I hadn’t walked this afternoon, I would have missed a gorgeous blue sky.

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If I hadn’t walked this afternoon, I would have missed the swans that live here year round. I haven’t seen them since the fall.

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If I hadn’t walked this afternoon, I would have missed seeing the Assabet River kayak launches that remind me kayak season is just around the corner.

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If I hadn’t walked this afternoon, I would have missed two middle grade boys horsing around in the park, reminding me to find joy after school, too.

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If I hadn’t walked this afternoon, I would have missed seeing this walking stick left by a stranger. A lovely reminder of how thoughtful people can be.

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If I hadn’t walked this afternoon, I would have missed the ruins that serve as a reminder to remain curious and to wonder about the past, present, and future.

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“River towns are winged towns.” — Thoreau

 

If I hadn’t walked this afternoon, I would have missed this favorite reminder of how lucky we are to live in a “winged” town.

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If I hadn’t walked this afternoon, I would have missed the lovely sunset warming up a chilly late March afternoon

So much to be missed if I hadn’t walked this afternoon, but thankfully I did.

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This post is part of the annual month-long Slice of Life writing challenge organized by Two Writing Teachers. Join us! It’s my third year of slicing in the challenge and I’m looking forward to writing and learning along with all of you.

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River Towns #SOL

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photo credit: Dave Griffin

This summer I have been exploring the new-ish Assabet River Rail Trail (ARRT) that runs through my small New England town. While much of it is inland, skirting the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, the section within walking distance from my house meanders along a lovely stretch of Thoreau’s beloved Assabet River. The stone marker you see above marks the entrance to Ice House Landing, a popular kayak launch and small picnic area. My husband and I don’t own bikes or our own kayak (YET!), so this natural oasis is unfamiliar to us.

I have intentionally left a camera of any sort behind on all my walks thus far. When I have a camera with me, I find I tend to be constantly looking for the perfect shot and not open to taking it all in — sight and sound. Of course now that I’m writing this, I wish I had photos to share, but honestly, I don’t believe photos would do it justice.

The Thoreau quote, “River towns are winged towns,” conjures up several meanings for me personally. As a bit of a bird nerd, and just having returned from a week-long Bird Sleuth course at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology, I think of all the birds who make their home in this riparian environment. (I saw a Great Blue Heron almost immediately my first time on the trail!) Then I also think of the movement of the river and how it flows from one  small town to the next, connecting them with its own parallel trail. Lastly, I believe the ARRT has given the residents of the communities it links movement. It’s exciting to see so many residents of my town running, walking, and biking along the trail. I often see adults with children in strollers who now have a lovely way of introducing their child or perhaps grandchild to nature.

What a treasure, and how grateful I am to have discovered it. Next time I’m bringing my camera!

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Many thanks to the crew at Two Writing Teachers, and the extended SOL community, for giving us the time, space, and encouragement to live the writerly life here each Tuesday. Won’t you join us?

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