Tuesday, October 7, 2014

31.7 :: Snapshots and Sidewalks

I lift my face to the sun, and turn off my Pray as you go podcast, because Caden needs to tell me all of the things. Together we discuss clouds and leaves and the dogs who run wild circles through and around the park. I perch on the stone ledge, watching Caden run to the swings. He needs a push, of course, before kicking his shark rainboots off to pump his legs.
We saunter over to the next attraction, where he spins until his eyes cant quite focus. Then runs until he falls, off-balance from all the spinning. We laugh together and he cries only for a minute when he lands directly on his face.  
We saunter and we linger, soaking October in Atlanta deep into our pores. Cool in the shade, but just perfect with the sun resting on my shoulders. I avoid the gym like the plague in favor of cracked sidewalks and gathering a passel of neighborhood children along the way.
We spin and we run, and forget taking off pajamas or wearing weather-appropriate footwear. Because the leaves blush to red, and the sky deepens from light-summer-blue to deep-fall-cerulean, the sun sinks earlier and the nights linger later. 
As I walk through dappled light, down lonely streets and busy ones, I am reminded of how to connect myself to this place we call home. How to step outside and enter in, to walk alongside and nearby and with. My feet root me to a place of complex juxtaposition. Of sun and shade, sidewalks both historic and cracked beyond repair. Loud trains, pulsing bass, and quiet Clifford who rides his bicycle in overalls and gap-toothed grin every day. 
Caden points excitedly at a helicopter, its blades chopping through the air loudly as it circles overhead. Then a pale yellow butterfly flits by, and Caden jumps out of the stroller yelling CHASE! Its wings flit silently, arcing in wild circles around Caden's zig-zag path. 
These are the kind of days, of course, where we simply cannot sit inside; gravitating instead to porch swings and chippy blue chairs out front. Eating huddled around the lanterns under our new pergola, grilled chicken and garlic kale and sweet potatoes while street lights flicker on with the dusk. The boys push Jayci too high on the tire swing and then play some sort of crazy game involving dropping to their belly beneath their wild arcs. We laugh and then caution, they chase each other barefoot through the grass, and we plop them in the bathtub to rinse off dirt before bed. 
There was a joy to finding that her body was adequate to get her where she was going, and it was a gift to develop a more tangible, concrete relationship to her neighborhood and its residents. (from Wanderlust).
Pray as you go podcast
Oceans - Hillsong
Ellie Holcomb - As Sure as the Sun

This is post number 7 in my 31 days of walking. If you'd like, you can read the whole series (31 miles in 31 days). 


  1. Well hello. : ) Any friend of Shannan's is a friend of mine. Thanks for saying hi. I clicked over to your place and thought, "Wait, this looks familiar." A while back I visited your blog and sent your ministry link to my sister. She and her husband and kiddos are doing similar work in the West End of Greenville, SC and I wanted her to be inspired by some kindreds. I love what y'all are doing. By the way, we're not too far up the road from you...in that SC college town that has orange tiger paws printed on its roads. {But don't hold that against me.}

  2. "and enter in". Yes. I nees this reminder ALL the time. It's not enough that my house is on this block, you know? I actually have to step outside it!


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