Friday could not come soon enough, although peculiarly, and as anxious as I’ve been in the office, it’s never been actually straight up bad, and often quite a bit less bothersome than I seemed to have set myself up to expect. I’d say it’s weird, but the truth is simply that we are each having our own experience, each possessing free will, each making different assumptions, and communicating from ever so slightly different dictionaries than each other moment-to-moment – and to make things just that much more fun, if we’re all seeking growth, and investing in what we want of the future, we show up each day as a very slightly completely different person than we were the day before – and don’t really realize it, and it doesn’t necessarily show to anyone else, either. How odd. The week ended rather suddenly and without much fuss.

As I left the building, peering into sodden gray skies likely to drip a few drops on me as I walked home, I recalled a team-mate commenting that the park bridge is open again, and that I would be able to “take the shortcut through the park” (it’s not a shortcut – it’s a longer walk, but more scenic, and definitely feels shorter). I took a deep breath, and walked on.

I pause at the top of the hill, excited to cross the new bridge. Is it silly to be excited about something so mundane?

I pause at the top of the hill, excited to cross the new bridge. Is it silly to be excited about something so mundane?

I take my time approaching the bridge, savoring the experience of the excitement and anticipation, and filling my senses with the prolonged yearning I had been experiencing in the background every day, waiting to resume my pleasant walks through the park each day. I make a point of lingering in this positive moment, and really feeling the joy of it.

As with much of Oregon these days, the bridge is higher.

As with much of Oregon these days, the bridge is higher.

I approach the bridge, eager to see the changes. The bridge has been elevated, which is a very good thing since many prior years the creek rose enough to swamp the bridge and make it impassable. I will be walking over this bridge all winter. I notice the very sturdy sides and rails, the closely spaced deck, and that the deck is not actually wood – some sort of durable plastic or composite material, it seems to shed water, and is not slick to walk upon even in the rain. Nice.

I cross the bridge; it feels like a moment.

I cross the bridge; it feels like a moment with significance.

I walk over the bridge, stand awhile in the center watching the water flow by sluggishly. This is not a fast-moving creek; there are many snags and places where nutria or beavers have felled trees and dammed the flow. I hear frogs peeping, and ducks quacking. I find myself wondering why “quacking” exactly? I don’t hear ‘quack’… I hear something more like… ‘gronk’. lol I walk over the bridge and startle a very auburn squirrel who was preparing to cross in the other direction. I reach the intersection of paths that decides whether this is a ‘short cut’ or not – turning right, and it shaves about 7 minutes off my walk, compared to taking the main road, but if I turn left (my preference) it takes me wandering through the park for about the same distance as the walk already was – definitely not a shortcut in miles, but how do I communicate that it feels like a shortcut… to my sanity?

Of course I turn left.

Of course I turn left…just up there…

Where does the path lead? Through the park, and into the evening, relaxed at home, and comfortable – and not even a little bit mad about seeing every square foot of sidewalk along the front of my building entirely inaccessible (having been torn out, replaced, and recently finished, it is not available for foot traffic yet). Nope, doesn’t matter. I carefully pick my way through the mud to the mailbox, and then back to the apartment, and taking my muddy shoes off before I step onto the carpet. I’m home.

I don’t know how or why it would make so much difference just to lose the walk through the park, but getting it back definitely made my evening, tonight. Dinner is cooking, and it seems a fine evening for something fun – a favorite animation, perhaps, or some game time? A movie? Fun and games matter too. It’s Friday night, and I’m taking care of me. It’s enough. 🙂