Why Do I like walking in September?
Walking as a healthy habit is a good thing but I wane in interest as summer temperatures soar. High humidity and relentless sun drive me to the shady front porch and passive activity. September renews my love affair with walking. The sun is still warm, sometimes even hot but you can pick and choose among the hours as the weather changes from foggy to warm to afternoon breezes and even warm rain.
My road is rural but busy with town and university traffic. We truly enjoyed the quiet of the road during Covid, it was like going back in time. Traffic was minimal and slow as if in awe of the slow pace and solemnity of the pandemic. Now September and the route is once again busy with students and teachers, families and food delivery vehicles.
I choose to walk my route alongside the corn fields and pastures. A Goldfinch teeters precariously on a bouncing thistle as he pulls the tiny seeds from the mound of fluff. I walk a little further and catch the scent of Pine. That smell always reminds me of my father’s woodshop. This time it comes from a large tree taking the heat of late day sun and emanating the fragrance of remembrance.
As the temperatures shift downward the cows take more pleasure in their field and spread out in search of the tenderest shoots of grass. No need to huddle and swish flies the breeze keeps them at bay. These cows share their field with a family of Canada Geese. I take pleasure in seeing the youngsters now ready for their journey south. Flight training is a raucous event with much coaching and honking for joy.
The corn fields stretch on and on. The green stalks point skyward and beckon a little rain in a dry season. Some are too dry and brown, but the better soil has held some moisture and those fields are a verdant green. The silk has dried to a crisp and the ears are fat with peeking yellow kernels.
The harvesters will arrive soon, and the stalks and ears will be chopped into a massive salad for cows and stored. Then I will share the road with the harvest crew that ferries the corn back to be stored. Hurrying, the trucks rumble by. Harvest season and the threat of bad weather always make them hustle. There is always a bit of fear some of the crop will be lost and there may not be enough to last until next years harvest.
Sometimes I slow to breathe in the sweet smell of grapes. This is not viticulture but wild Concord grapes climbing a tree along side the road. The heat of the day drawing out the grape scent to perfume the air. As children we sought these free tart snacks found on our ramblings. They climb and twist and create massive green walls. I don’t pick any there as the ground is growing a healthy crop of poison ivy.
10,000 steps a day is supposed to be a guideline magic number to a healthy amount of movement. Ten thousand memories line my path and new ones made each day. The convenience of the phone camera lets me save some of the moments and even a few of the creatures I meet along the route. I may walk the same route each day, but every day it’s a different walk.