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March 26, 2020

It’s grey and drizzly outside, but I need to get out of the house.  I need to get out of my head.  And anyway, I have a package to mail, so I go for a walk to the post office.

On the way home, a car appears around a bend in the road and rushes towards me, so I step to the side.  Because the shoulder is narrow, I step up onto a little stone wall lining the shoulder.  It’s old, and with the weeds growing through its cracks, hardly discernible from the lawn that slopes down to meet it.

Still, there is something about walking along the top of a wall that makes me feel like a child again.

I remember the immense pleasure of encountering a wall low enough to walk along, the satisfaction when it was wide enough to balance easily. I would feel tall, and would announce my height to the adult whose head I could now see over.

I remember, too, the railings made of black or green metal pipes.  These would do to walk along when there wasn’t a wall, but they were more of a challenge.  I remember the feeling of tipping this way and that to try to keep myself up, the way my leg would splay out and then I would not-quite-jump to land with a thud on the ground. I’d walk along the sidewalk for a moment, then hop back onto the railing, ready for this to be the time I would master it like a tightrope walker.

And I remember, when the balancing grew too hard, holding my mother’s hand.  My torso would wiggle, but her arm, her grip were strong, and my steps would be steady.

This wall I’m walking on now is short-lived; it hardly reaches past one lawn. Still, I’m feeling a bit of a rush, walking along the top, balancing without effort.  Today, I might not agree with Robert Frost.  Something there is that loves a wall.




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  1. Lovely layering of memories. Yes, walking on a wall does transport you to childhood- carefree and whimsical. I might have to just find myself a wall to walk on tomorrow…

  2. Lainie Levin permalink

    I love the way you bring in your childhood memories with the here and now. And yes, there are many joys from childhood (ex. riding a shopping cart like a skateboard) that I enjoy indulging in from time to time!

    Thanks for bringing me back.

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