The Other Side of the Street


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Ok, maybe my shoes didn't have THIS much to say, but, still...

It wasn’t until I rounded the corner that I saw the construction barricade with the sign saying: “sidewalk closed, use other side”. The sign was a new addition: on my last run I suddenly found myself at the end of a sidewalk that was dead-ended in a sand filled construction pit. I went ahead and hiked across it anyway, reminded of my childhood and exploring the construction sites of new houses being built in the neighborhood ( back when kids still had unsupervised outdoor play, and did dangerous stuff like playing in construction sites). One time, in the excavation for a house’s basement I discovered an old bone in the dirt. My folks tried to tell me that it was probably a cow or horse bone, I was *pretty* sure was a dinosaur bone: I knew because I’d seen “The Land Before Time”, like, a hundred times. To the (probable) chagrin of my teacher, I brought it to school and insisted on displaying it in the classroom. I’m sure that wouldn’t be allowed today; some kid is probably allergic to dinosaur bones.

Wonder what ever happened to that…

Anyway, the sign said the sidewalk was closed, so I crossed the road. I could have crossed back again on the far side of the construction, but I thought maybe it would be interesting to see what the other side of the road was like. I love my routines, but it is also good to break them up from time to time just to get some perspective.

I wish that something profound had happened: something that would have confirmed my decision to walk on the far side. Mostly I just worried about getting beaned by a golf ball from the nearby course, although the fear would have required some comically poor golfers in order to be founded. I was glad to be running on a weekend since there is an elementary school on the far side of the street which could have been mobbed with kids and parents wondering why a strange lady was trying to jog through their turf.

I returned home diverted but unenlightened.

Feeling motivated, I decided to stretch little bit in an effort to once again reach the floor. I’ve always had tight hamstrings. I fear the day when they just tighten up so much that tying my shoes becomes an effort. While staring at my sneakers, trying to breathe through the burn, I realized that there were tiny little words printed on the soles and that the words on the left shoe were different from the words on the right shoe. One shoe said “Trail-[something]”, and the other said “Traction”. Other words were so away that they had been completely erased. All this time my shoes had held a message for me and I never even thought to look for it.

So it may not have been a profound revelation, but I did have my eyes opened. I guess that counts for something.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on March 19, 2016.

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