It was a cool autumn day, and I felt sad, defeated and like the sky; cloudy. I didn't want to do anything. Yet, I had an urge to go outside. I reluctantly put on my green jean coat. I tied my hair up, grabbed a water bottle, and tucked my metro pass in my back pocket. Then I finally exited the apartment.
The world seemed grey and miserable, and I wasn't feeling good about anything. It was one of those days where I wished I could do something fun, like play with a friend in the sand or fly a kite. Unfortunately, my friends were not available and I didn't have a kite. I was only going for a walk. I looked up at the sky and it was bleak. ‘Oh.., what to do?’ I wondered to myself as my mood was low. I continued to walk.
I didn't know where I was going. I just felt the urge to be outside. With each step, my mind was telling me to go home but my body and feet moved forward. ‘What am I doing? I don’t have a job, the kids are at school and my bank account is almost empty.’ Then I heard a soft little voice, ‘Just walk.’ So, I did.
I started to notice the birds in the sky. They didn't seem to care that the sun was hiding. In spite of everything, they continued flying to and fro. The trees around me seemed to be relaxed and calm while inside me I felt impatient and grasping for some type of stimulus. Again, I heard, ‘Just walk.’
I was walking fast, even though I did not know where I was going. I felt strange and full of conflicting emotions. I became aware of my pace and slowed to a complete stop. I looked at my blue Nike shoes and their baby blue shoe laces. The colour appeared to stand out, but within me I continued to feel a dull grey.
I looked up and people around me were moving fast. ‘So, this is how we are? Oh.., that’s sad.’ I felt disconnected from the world. Then, I spotted some children excited about going to the park. ‘Just walk,’ I heard it again. Thoughts of the lake drifted into my mind as it is my favourite place to be. I become calm when the waves kiss the shore line. I finally had a destination. ‘I’m going to the beach. But, I’m going by myself,’ I sighed. ‘Just walk,’ the voice was louder and clearer. The beach was about 20 minutes away and I decided I rather take the bus which stopped 5 feet ahead of me. I missed it because I wasn't fast enough. ‘I guess I’ll be walking,’ I finally snorted. My mood changed ever so slowly.
Along the street there were trees with dark brown leaves waiting to fall to the ground. I stopped and touched the tree trunks and started to smile. I said, “Hi” to some of the trees. With each tree, I stayed a little longer with it and I felt peaceful and grateful. My eyes swelled with tears. I felt loved, and my mood shifted. I felt a little colour touched my cheeks, and the grey was fading. I resumed walking with my head up and I felt each step with more awareness. The wind was picking up and I was getting cold. ‘I don’t want to go to the beach if I’m cold,’ I thought. ‘Just walk,’ the voice said once again. ‘Fine,’ I seemed to be having a conversation with two parts of myself.
I arrived at the beach and strolled along the boardwalk. The grey clouds were rolling and I didn't know what I was doing. I didn't want to be close to the water, especially since, I forgot my gloves. ‘Just walk,’ so I put my hands in my pockets. From a distance, I saw how the waves were slightly chopping and on the beach the seagulls were testing their wings as they rose from the ground to glide in the air. ‘That’s cool.’ I thought. ‘Just walk,’ I heard again.
On the sand, there were reddish brown fences and it was clear that the beach was already prepared for the upcoming winter. There were people walking their dogs and some were playing fetch. ‘I don’t want a dog. I love my cat.’ I thought. Once more I heard, ‘Just walk.’ I decide to go to my favourite sitting area and passed the volleyball posts. I passed the park where my children played and I felt sad again. At this location, the boardwalk was further from the water and there was a path with trees and grass on either side. I became frustrated and cold. I walked for more than an hour and a half. I was close to my favourite rocks but I didn't want to go there. I stopped and raised my arms in the air, “I’m at the beach, God, what do you want me to do?” That’s when the voice said, ‘now, go on to the sand.’
“Really? Now? I have to cross through the trees to get to the beach.”
“Just walk,” the same phase came again. I shook my head nevertheless I walked.
I passed through the trees and a few spider webs but nothing was truly blocking my way. Once I approached the sand, the rows of reddish brown fences were in the way. As I came upon a fence, I found an entrance to move further onto the beach without climbing over anything. I looked up at the sky and it was still grey. I noticed that the wind was getting stronger. In the distance, I spotted an object on the sand. It was large bag lying out in the open. As I approached the object, I realized it was a bag of beach toys with various items scattered around. I edged closer and I tapped the bag with my shoe. I scanned the area to see if someone forgot it. There was no one in sight. I was surprised because there were enough toys for 20 people to play. There were beach balls, badminton rackets with birds, freebies, baseballs, footballs and kites. “Really,” I said aloud.
Again, I looked around ‘Is someone filming me? Am I on some kind of weird show?’ I didn't know what to do. I tapped the bag once more with my shoe. I found 5 kites in the bag. The strings were broken but I knew I could fix them. ‘Okay, I’ll play with a kite.’ I picked it up and tied knots along the broken string and began to lift the kite to the sky. But first I scanned the beach again. ‘No one is watching. I’m safe.’ The wind was on my side as I lift the kite to the sky. Up the kite flew. I felt free and started to laugh and I began to sing. ‘This is really something.’
There was a butterfly pattern on the kite and in the air it floated gracefully. My heart released more and more. “This is really happening. I am flying a kite.” I moved around the beach with easy and giggled to myself. I played for more than 20 minutes.
Suddenly, I became self-conscious about playing. ‘I need to look for a job,’ I heard this other voice. The wind dropped and the kite fell to the ground. “Oh.” My mood changed completely. I pleaded with the wind to rise again. The kite lifted and dropped immediately. “It’s over.” I looked at the bag of toys and put the kite back. Nothing else seemed appealing to me. My time on the beach was done. I didn't know if I “should” move the bag of toys. Someone else might want to play so I left them there and I turned to return home.
A few months later, I remembered the joy of flying a kite so I went in search to possess one of my own. I found a cute one with smiling hearts. Each time I flew it, I felt pure joy. Unfortunately, my kite was destroyer but I have a picture. Even now, as I am writing this and seeing the smiling hearts, I begin to giggle and it turns into a snort fest of laughter. I never suspected that listening to that soft little voice would lead me to a place of freedom and joy. Who knows what it’s trying to say now? “Just write,” and so, I am. SNORT!