Wednesday, 29 February 2012

The Walkers

Each morning they embark on their own routines. In half-darkness they walk, sometimes together, usually on their own, lapping one another, stretching. Sweating.

There's one guy that is easily identified by his voracious appetite for red t-shirts. Each morning he walks - he's wearing a red t-shirt. Except for this week he's switched to blue. He runs one lap, then sets himself up in the cricket nets. Stretching. Pushing. Pulling. After a while he exits, runs a couple of extra laps, and heads off for the day.

Then there's Peter. Lovely white-haired Peter. He must be at least 80, he walks, we lap one another, we wave hello, we chat on every second lap. He stretches using the fence. He must have lived here forever. He's heading off for four months overseas. 

A woman - whose age is difficult to determine turns up. Her ponytail swishes side to side as she runs, effortlessly around and around the oval. She stretches with another woman (who is older and curvier), they chat as they run, under the gum trees, around to the side where the sand flicks up into your sneakers.  

Frank is there most mornings. He's a jovial man. We chat politics, war and walking.

Occasionally there are other walkers, but for the most part, it's the usual suspects. Occasionally an elderly woman will brave the slightly sodden grass, walk a few laps, but then she's out of there. Sometimes one of these women will wear a visor, or those sunglasses that flip up and down.

Some mornings see the beginnings of the sunrise. The most spectacular of which featured pale pink and lilac. Streaks of colour like a melted ice-cream. But the next day, markedly less memorable, golden clouds wafting in the sky. Yet it held on to its own beauty, though simplified from the previous.

Most mornings I walk to the dulcet tones of Ira Glass from This American Life. Perfectly timed, and I can get lost for an hour, listening to someone talk about someone else. Sometimes I carve things up and set my iPod to shuffle. Although it's risky with a mix of Playschool mixed with Rihanna mixed with Justine Clarke.

Without even thinking about it, I've become part of the community. Sometimes a silent community, or sometimes a community where a wave or a 'Good Morning' is enough to pass muster. It's comforting to share other people's lives daily. It's a really new sense of perspective, and one that I like.

image via Semantically Driven

Tell me - how does this happen??


teddybearswednesday said...

I love this post Lexi. It captures the early morning ritual and the little habits and communties that form so beautifully. I am picturing each one in my own head.
Community whether in walkers, a neighbourhood, market , shopping village or online both big and small are a wonderful thing to be part of xo

sar said...

how lovely!!!

i just went for a long morning walk in the rain. Just me, the bub and ten flies.

The only people I saw were two drunks who were not walking for the sake of walking. But we had a good little chat and brightened each others' moment!

Bex said...

I love this post. So beautifully observed and written. I totally agree, it's refreshing to take a moment to see all the other lives humming around our own. And appreciate being a part of the hum. Bx

Anonymous said...

i love it. i still remember my fellow morning runners from my morning rituals at both penno and manly. i miss it. almost like silent friends. one of my favourites was an eldery man at shelly beach. every day i ran past he would wave and yell out 'the best thing in life is health. keep going girl.' the impact his words had on me still remain. x jillian

Anonymous said...

I too, was shocked to read the article about the Detroit war veteran.
I don't know what has become of the world when a human being with a broken leg was ignored as he crawled, crawled! for assistance. Those people should be ashamed to their core.

Sarah said...

Lovely, with some smatterings of Random Poetics there. I miss those Random Poetics you know.