I don't like walking. I don't, in fact, know anybody who does.
But I walk a mile a day – round trip, to and from work – as I have no car and since in this current incarnation I can't fly (or bounce from tree to tree like a gibbon, or float through the air dandelion-like)…so I walk.
But on these walks I do notice things. Not cracks in the sidewalk (so I trip), or roots exploding through the concrete (and therefore fall), or people (except when they're walking their dogs). But I do notice the flowers whose colors span from red to orange to pink to yellow all within the span of one petal; I notice the Byzantine colored tiles embedded in the stairs of the older houses in my neighborhood, I notice vines cross-hatched across garden walls…in short I notice things that will not help me get to my job unscathed.
And sometimes I notice not things, but vignettes:
On my way to work earlier this week, my eyes were drawn to the balcony of a pale sepia colored house. The color was serene, and went well with the morning's gray and white sky. The wooden railings were creamy and worn. There was a terra-cotta pot on that balcony, with a filigree of branches growing from it. And perched on the smallest, trimmest twig was a tiny brown sparrow – singing a warning, or greeting, I really didn't know, not being at all versed in sparrow-speak.
And I witnessed it all: a perfect Winter scene, painted with a delicate and restrained brush…in mid-May.
Then, walking home, perhaps on that very same day, I stopped to admire the weathervane of one of the corner houses: it was in the shape of a bi-plaine: tilted upwards, straining to take flight. But this day I saw a most audacious bird, claiming a most audacious perch: a mockingbird balanced on the upper most propeller blade. It was singing, singing to the sky, since it was clear that no earthly creature was worthy to appreciate its proud voice.
He was impudent enough to perch atop the symbol of man's best-known attempt to conquer his skies. He sang fearlessly, with no concern or sense of danger.
Because it is a sin, you know.