Just as we left our friends after a leisurely lunch in our CCRC dining room, it started to snow. I had intended to take a walk. So, I did. I wore my bright red parka, which makes me visible for quite a distance and walked my usual route around our campus.
The parka is a souvenir from a year 2000 trip to Antarctica. The first leg was a flight to Buenos Aires, Argentina where we stayed for three days of Tango, meat, street urchins, Art museums and air pollution. Then we flew to the southernmost tip of South America – Terra Del Fuego – and the city of Ushuaia (the southernmost city in the world). It is a lovely modern clean and tourist friendly place. There we boarded a boat – a Russian icebreaker converted to cruise ship- and were on our way. We left the ship numerous times, via rubber raft, to walk through the snow underfoot and the bright sun above. The penguins were amazing. They have no fear of humans (maybe because we don’t eat them). It was close to the South Pole that I experienced the cleanest air and clearest skies you could ever imagine. Few modern sculptures can rival the beauty of those ice floes on the vivid blue water. It is by far the most amazing place we have ever visited. I can still see it when I close my eyes.
Much before that trip, there was another snowy walk that is captured forever in some beautiful photos that have recently emerged from those boxes of slides in my closet. It had started to snow heavily late at night. My kids were asleep. When they went to bed, they had no idea that the next day would be a snow day with no school. I looked out the window to a city transformed. Bright street lights reflected on the growing blanket of sparkly snow. There were no cars, no buses, and no trucks. It was as quiet as can be.
I just had to do it. We woke up the kids. Got them bundled up in their snowsuits and went for a walk right down the middle of the street. We walked all the way to the park and made snow angels. In the middle of a big, populous city, we were alone. It was magic.
Walking can take you anywhere, even if it is only in your imagination.