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Just Walking

by:Rachel

grandma and ariaWalking through the park: Aria and Grandma Beth.

One thing I love about Europe in general is that one can often walk from place to place without the aid of a car or even public transport. When Brianna and I lived in Campobasso, Italy we learned the buses; well, one bus at least. I think our monthly pass was for the green bus, which did a circuit that took us semi-near our English teaching studio and also to the downtown centre. Soon we discovered that it was about as quick to walk to the English school as to stand at the corner and wait for the bus, ride it for two or three minutes and then walk two more blocks to the studio. So walk we did. I remember drinking in the delights of fall: the smell of coloured, damp leaves bringing so many memories from growing-up years; the round red berries adorning dark green bushes; discovering green places in the midst of the many apartment buildings of our city—things I would have missed if I hadn’t walked.

On bench with MummyMummy, I want to go see the dogs!

Our flat is in a slightly run-down part of Paisley, but the thing I really like about it is its proximity to places I want to go. Now that there are too many of us to fit in my bro-in-law’s car, John and I along with the two girls traverse the half-hour walk to church. I bundle Kiera and pop her in the sling or snuggli and John puts Aria on his back in the child carrier, and off we go. I like the cool air; and I like the time that John and I have to talk during that half-hour. We used to walk a half-hour to church when we lived in San Francisco as well and I almost always preferred it to driving.

Runaway PramJessica’s expression at seeing the stroller blown along the path by the wind.

Many days during my week also find me making my way to the town centre. I can comfortably carry Kiera (once again, in sling or snuggli) while pushing Aria along in her stroller. There are at least two decent grocery stores that I can go to and I often find myself browsing the aisles of the small health food store. There are also many second-hand shops, which are called charity shops here, and I look for different things I need there (one of my favourite purchases has been the puzzle that I am getting immense enjoyment from during Aria’s naps). I am not the only one who walks here either. Most days I see people walking home with their bags of groceries, perusing the shops of High Street, and walking small children to and from school. There are also a great deal of people out with prams, which are more popular here than strollers or “travel systems” that are more commonly seen in the States. Paisley seems to have a large baby population simply judging from the amount of prams one sees on a fine day.

this way!The doggies went this way!

Lately, walking brings a new pleasure: spring is beginning to show signs out and about everywhere. On the way to church today, I saw a small tree that had broken out in delicate pink blossoms. As I walk through the park near our house, my eyes are delighted at the sight of snowdrops and crocuses, along with evidence that the daffodils will soon be blooming. Around the abbey in the city centre is an abundance of crocuses and daffodils all promising spring. I relish these green places as the ones within walking distance from our place are few and far between.

hi doggieAria’s always looking for a dog to shower with love on our shortcut through the park.

And, of course, another pleasure in the walking is working out my post-pregnancy figure.:-)

One Response to “Just Walking”

  1. Beka
    March 6th, 2007 04:04
    1

    I am longing for Spring to come to Ukraine! The transformation from Winter to Spring is breathtaking!

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