Starting a new regime making the 3-mile circuit around the city lakes has been quite the change from the lonely life at the end of the cul de sac. Yikes, so many people. Yet, so peaceful.
At first glance the walking trail is all about the lake. The sailboats rock and sway in the breeze with the tinkly-jingle of the riggings. The buoys bob like oversized Christmas balls and flags flap. Canvas snaps. Planes power down overhead.
But as you merge onto the trail, it's all about the people, and the dogs.
All sizes and shapes in sweaty athletic clothing. Lone joggers leaving you with the rhythmic kush-kush of their sneakers, often trailing canines in a never ending combination of snouts and tails; feathery, coiling or silky fur connecting the two.
The walkers go solo, pair up and occasionally filling the sidewalk in threes, plus dogs. It leans heavy toward women twosomes, couples coming in second. And for a brief moment as they near, you catch a breathy bit of the ensuing conversation before it passes by, doppler-like, bits of conversation making for a patchwork of human drama and humdrum.
"Someone told me that..."
"I guess there's an obligation if you're in a relationship..."
"It's the eggplants and peppers that seem to be suffering the most..."
"Unless they want to live in Canada..."
"in the divorce according to the custody arrangement..."
"I must have spent $700 dollars keeping my father's feet warm...."
"I had a deuce three suit..."
" I'm like, yeah...."
And you're left wondering as these people, circling in unison work out their issues while working out their bodies by the blue background of the rippled waters and nondescript shrubbery. A long time ago, like many coastal inhabitants, I used to sit and watch the waves of the Pacific, the rising and falling metronome of the breakers, it was cheap therapy. I've missed those waves and wondered how inlanders managed without them. Walking the lake every morning now, I get it.