Saturday, May 28, 2005

Blue skies calling

There are puffy clouds on the horizon and nothing but perfect blue skies above. Leaves shimmer in the morning sun and squirrels are busy scampering, eating, playing, doing squirrel duty. The air is cool and clean beyond my dusty windows and here and there people amble along the streets on Saturday errands. John is on his way home from the commissary to a long weekend of chores, a little sad that Suzy has decided she is too much in pain from a little scrape to go bike riding with him. And here I sit hungering for him to ask me to go for a bike ride or a walk or just sit and talk. All I want is an invitation.

I have an invitation. The blue skies are beckoning me outside where birds dip and swoop on cool dawn winds.

The sunlight reaches me here in my window-walled aerie, but it is filtered through dust and screens and double-paned glass. Its warmth reaches me, but does not touch my skin or warm my back as I bend over planting beds and weeds that need to be pulled. When did life get so complicated?

When I was a child, and even a teenager before I learned to drive, walking wasn't a thought or something I had to plan. I walked. Distance wasn't an issue, although I walked three or four miles to school, and that same distance back, every day and nearly that to the Hilltop Swim Club to bask in the sun, arrow through the waters and dance to the juke box tunes in my bathing suit. I was never too tired to walk and nowhere was out of reach. I didn't need an invitation, just a sunny day like today and the desire to go somewhere.

On the way home from high school I hurdled lines of bushes separating one yard from the next, sprinting up and down the avenues and dancing among the trees in the boulevard in front of our house. I ran and walked and danced for the sheer joy of it and not because it was a good way to exercise and lose weight. It was all an inextricable part of who I was, a part I have lost over the years of driving and city buses and cabs.

The only time I took a bus then was when I was in a hurry or had to go downtown to meet friends or cousins so we could walk all around downtown, in and out of the stores and museums, through the park or just exploring and looking at old houses and buildings and churches. Now I pick up the keys and drive. When did it all change? When did I start ignoring blue sky invitations?

Part of the reason I moved here was because it was close to an old and interesting part of town, and because I love the energy. I'm two miles from Garden of the Gods and about that from Red Rocks Park, and here I sit on a Saturday morning with the whole day stretching before me in front of the computer and wondering why. There is an answer, but it's not a good one. I'm waiting for an invitation from John to go walking, hiking, bike riding or just talking, an invitation that isn't going to come for another two weeks. Still, I wait and the blue skies keep calling.

Outside, as the sun rides higher in the sky and the puffy clouds thin and migrate east, a white-tailed hawk drifts and soars on rising currents of warming air in a Colorado blue sky that calls to a part of me forgotten and sleeping like Rip Van Winkle as the world passes by on Saturday jaunts. There is a daily invitation delivered through my windows, one I am forced to ignore during the week because of work, but an invitation I plan to accept this morning and every morning from now on. I cannot sprint and hurdle bushes or walk for miles without thinking, but I can take the first step and the one after that and the one after that until I can sprint and hurdle and run and walk for the sheer joy of being out where the sun can leave its bronze kiss on my skin and color my cheeks with the pink of joy.

Now is as good a time as any to RSVP with a definite and happy YES!

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