Our Daily Walk

This morning Laurel burst into the daycare center clutching a large leaf that she had found while we were walking there (my pockets were already full of pebbles and maples leaves, other finds). She proudly took it around to show her teachers, and accurately identified it as an oak leaf.

One of the blessings of our neighborhood is the mile-long walk to Laurel's daycare. As we are shifting into a new season, the walk itself presents all kinds of lessons. The quality of the light changes as the days shorten. The same patch of woods looks entirely different from day to day. We know the neighbors and their dogs and shop owners and crossing guards.

There are lessons for me, too. Patience for one, because invariably, about halfway there I feel a bit tired of looking at yet another pebble/acorn/leaf and I'm feeling antsy to drop her off and trek back home so I can get some work done.

She has a new game she likes to play. At some point she will sit down on the sidewalk and say, "How about you leave me here and somebody else will get a Nugget?" And I make a big fuss and say, "No! You are my Nugget and you belong with our family." And she grins without looking at me and gets up and holds my hand and we go on with our walk.

It was pouring down rain the other day, and we got all suited up in rain coats and rain boots, and carried umbrellas and still arrived rather wet because there were a lot of puddles to jump through. And Laurel kept putting her umbrella away and pulling her hood back so she can feel the rain drops fall on her cheek. She especially liked the big fat ones that were coming off the trees.

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