We’re trying to make do with one car—
more for financial reasons than ecological ones—
though we celebrate the ecological ones more!
So on a recent day off, after lunch,
in spite of cloudy skies and intermittent drizzle,
I walked to our neighborhood bank,
then a mile or so on down the road to Staples
to pick up some things we needed.
Heading back, I stopped at a shopping center—
one with one of those markets—
little shops and stands all connected in one large space—
a coffee and pastry bar—sushi, soup and sandwich, wine bars,
an ice cream shop, a candy stall, a butcher.
And I sat down there with a book and had my first hot tea of the fall.
Then, when it was time, headed back up the street—
back by the two drug stores cattycornered from each other at one intersection
back past the Panera, the liquor and grocery stores,
the Chinese and Mexican restaurants, the pizza joints,
past the bank, the duck pin bowling alley, the florist,
the yoga studio, the consignment stores, the bakery,
the family owned hardware store, the ice cream parlor—
then several blocks over from the main street
to pick the girls up at the end of their school day—
contemplating while walking
a/ what a great neighborhood, and
b/ what it means to be committed to where you are.
So often these days, we’re not—
For in a car, I can be here
and decide I want to be there—
even if there is clear across town.
I’m not committed to where I am—
not like I am afoot, a mile or more from home
in questionable weather.
So there’s a groundedness to being committed to where I am
I’m not even sure I usually know to miss.