Amblin’ Alameda: Spring at a Walk

Amblin’ Alameda: Spring at a Walk

Morton Chalfy

The pace of my walkabout is usually quite predictable. I have to start out slowly to give my back and knee joints time to warm up, which takes three or four blocks, and then I unconsciously begin to walk faster. By the time my back has self-lubricated to well-oiled efficiency I’m marching along as though my old Master Sergeant was barking out the rhythm. But not today.

Today I didn’t leave for my walk until mid-afternoon. The chill winds and light rain of the morning were gone and the sun was high, bright and warming, and the sky was azure blue, except where the mist still cloaked the Emerald City Across The Bay in mystery. I hadn’t gone far enough to be totally loosened up yet when I was ambushed by an unseen cloud of the aroma of blossoms. The perfume was so heady and intense it slowed my pace even more and committed me to following the name of this space. I ambled. Spring has indeed sprung and an amble was the only intelligent response.

Twice more before I reached Shoreline I was waylaid by floral scents, often from untraceable origins. The breeze was a little stiffer coming unbroken off the bay, but still mild and still smelling like spring. Along the shore several families with small children were taking the sun at a pace that had to be called an amble and even the shorebirds, working the mudflats revealed by low tide, were casual in their pursuits and paused often to fluff their feathers.

I’m happy to report that the bushes lining Shoreline are flowering and full of dark green leaves. In fact the rains of last week, as light as they were, apparently did enough good to increase the density of foliage in town to nearly summer levels. The gardeners are beginning to increase their visits now that there is actually some grass to mow and bushes to trim back. The green bins are full after a week or at most two.

Stopping to smell the roses is easier when one ambles and this is the perfect opportunity to do just that.