My mind was on hyperdrive as I walked home from class today. Events of the day had sparked ideas and I couldn’t wait to get inside and write down what I was thinking. I dropped my stuff inside the door, grabbed the mailbox key and headed to the end of the driveway. When I got back, I realized that I had locked the door out of habit. No keys, no cell phone and worst of all, no paper or pen to do the writing I wanted.
I wasn’t too surprised. I’ve almost locked myself out getting the mail several times in the past few weeks. The force of habit is too strong and I tend to daydream while I’m doing stuff that shouldn’t require too much attention. Oh well, I thought. It’s a little bit warmer today so I might as well go for a walk. My thoughts would have to stew until later and hopefully I wouldn’t forget anything great.
I walked down Hinkson past Benton Elementary School. I wandered around the Benton Stephens neighborhood for a while checking out the houses. I love the architecture in Columbia. Eventually I made my way down Ann St. and tarried a little while in the park across from the stables. I went up Walnut past Boone Hospital’s ER (fun memories there) and crossed over to Stephens Lake Park. It’s an old favorite of mine. Most parks are.
I circled the lake and watched the geese sitting on the ice. Not all of the water was frozen, and some geese chose to float. But they all headed for the ice, flapping and skidding when I came by. Aren’t they freezing? I would fly farther south if I were them. Squinting my right eye shut, I watched one goose through one link in the fence. I went over the bridge and studied the amoeba-like crack patterns in the ice. One bench wasn’t covered in snow, so I sat on it and studied the whole landscape. I wish I had my camera, but maybe not having it made me look more carefully.
It was a little chilly to just sit there, so I started walking again. Crossing Broadway, I headed up to Ann St. From there to University Ave then up High Street and a loop back down to University. Nice area. I saw a couple pushing their kid in a stroller and some girls walking a dog. A guy whose dog was out attacking a stick waved as I walked by. I’ll miss this town some day.
I was getting a little cold and a little hungry, so I took University to campus to seek refuge in the library. So here I am, writing something completely different than what I wanted to write today. My roommate Becca is home now, so I think I’ll head back and get some much-needed nourishment.
There’s nothing like a spur of the moment stroll around town to prolong a thought session. I may be inside my own head too much, but there’s no such thing as being outside too much. Locking myself out provided an accidental breath of fresh February air.