one of the things I miss about my old morning commute to rogers park is the pigeons– I’d get stuck at a light behind a line of cars on clark street, sucking my teeth in frustration, and then I’d glance up– and there would be a giant flock of pigeons turning and swooping through the air. it consistently stopped my breath– and teeth-sucking– and transported me, for a few minutes at least, to another plane of being, a calmer, sweeter one.
today around 3 in the afternoon I hit my customary wall and climbed into bed, half afraid that I wouldn’t be able to snap out of it for the rest of the weekend– so when I woke from a lovely nap a couple of hours later, I stood myself up and took george out while there was still an ounce of daylight in the sky and I could still enjoy the experience of walking.
and set out in a different direction than one of our standard, get-it-done dogwalks. we headed over the wilson street river bridge– just as a pair of canada geese flew low just ahead to alight on the water, gracefully, side by side. and I let myself stop and peer down over the railing to about ten or twelve ducks below, paddling around in the swirling water like little quacking tugboats. mallards, males and females. I gave myself the opportunity to stand there, without rushing on, just watching their orange feet go and their compact bodies cut through the current. and then I looked up– to a flock of pigeons as it turned in a wheel over my head and swung south along the river to bank and turned back again, and again and again in a shifting gyre that carried them finally out of view. the cell phone camera does no justice to this experience.
and then george and I continued onward into terra incognita– across the river into ravenswood manor, past a house with many birdhouses– across the street-level el tracks just before the bar came down for a train, past a string of closed shops– a ballet school, an oil painting studio, a place with posters for tai chi and yoga, a coffee shop, string lights in the window.
and then on down francisco and over lawrence into ronan park, which runs along the river and which I’ve been meaning to visit ever since I moved here a year and a half ago.
and there was not another soul around. only the cold quiet of a late weekend afternoon in late winter and me and george, walking, making discoveries in our own back yard.