We walked yesterday, just my mother and me. We walked from one sunny end of the street to the end of the block where my red car is parked. We don’t walk too far as the cats follow us and we don’t want them crossing the street or turning the corner. Black kitty and gray kitty, they were never formally named.
“I didn’t know you had a red car.” She said with approval. I’ve had this car for nine years. I nod my head in enthusiasm, “Yes! I love my red car.” She likes that I have a red car, it implies passion.
Step by step, slow steps.
I move a hair from in front of her face. Her glasses fog up wearing her face mask. But it is earlier in the day, so less people, and we leave them on our chins for most of it. The star jasmine is in full bloom, it is May 17, 2020.
There is one area on our walk where the street has risen up because of the tree roots. She climbs up and down slowly, carefully, as though it were the side of the mountain. Coming down is harder for her, maybe a sense of falling. But I hold her arm and the walker and guide her down. “You won’t fall, Ma. I’ve got you.”
We stop to rest, the sun warm at our backs. She often asks if my feet are cold when I wear sandals on our walks. I’ve tried to remember to wear shoes instead, so she doesn’t fixate on my naked toes.
How far? Just to the second tree.
How far? Just to the patch of green.
How far? Just to my red car, in front of the house. Then we can go home.
She is relieved to hear that home is within striking distance. Sometimes, I’ll ease past home and try to extend the walk a little, but she is tired today, so I don’t press her.
I don’t know if she enjoys these walks. They are good for her, and for me. But I don’t know if she enjoys them for their own sake. She notices a yogurt container that someone dropped on the grass. She reads a rental sign as we walk past, “Three bedrooms, three baths, luxury rental.” She laughs. “That’s not for us.” She still has her sense of humor.
Sometimes we stop to smell the roses, many are unscented these days. But the jasmine is in full bloom, rioting over the fence. It is May 17, 2020. We are taking a walk.