On my walk to the Bluff (that is, a small neighborhood park overlooking the water in Ballard), I smiled at all the moms and dads out pushing strollers, chasing after kids on miniature bicycles, carrying soccer balls and baseball bats, holding onto leashes with excited pooches tugging on the ends. The flowers were alive. The scent of lilacs followed me on the breeze, strides past a lilac bush. Neighbors stood talking on the sidewalk while one took a break from gardening. A little boy wearing a baseball hat and carrying a bat stood next to his grandma in their front yard, also wearing a baseball hat, and pointed up to a crow on the power line above his yard: "Shhh, don't scare him!" A calico kitty crouched in a bed of blue bells and peered at me with its green eyes.
At the park, I found a sunny spot near a tree with low-lying branches, with a view of the marina below, the Olympic mountains across the water. The squeals of delighted children running around mingled with the barking of seals in the distance. I laid on my hooded sweatshirt, which I happily didn't require, soaking in the sun's medicine and reading Mr. Popper's penguins. A group of four little girls ran beneath the tree, grabbing its branches and swinging on them, chattering away in their make-believe play. A little boy, looking less than one year, unsteadily clasped his dad's hands and attempted to walk in the grass. Catching my eye, he stopped and stared, rewarding me with a huge smile when I waved at him.
Bees buzzed nearby while I read. I occasionally flicked tiny brown bugs off my sweatshirt and swatted my legs, tickled in the grass. I finished my book, leaned back and closed my eyes for a few minutes, relaxing into a place of contentment.
This walk was just what the doctor prescribed.