When I was much younger, I used to shuffle along the streets of Boston, scuffing autumn leaves, keeping my trench coat, wrapped tight around my west, and my head was always bent towards the ground.  Years later, I saw the film Housekeeping, I think, based on Marilyn Robinson’s novel which was excellent.  The characters, two sisters, walked the same way.  One chose life and growth and staying in a town after their mother committed suicide, and the other chose traveling with her aunt, hopping trains, vagabonding, in an era, when you could still get away with it.  Did I mention, they both walked with their heads down.

When we lived in Ukraine and Belarus, my head bent down, and a hump emerged right below my neck because we carried so many heavy things.  The Russian way of carrying heavy stuff, is one person on the left carries on handle, and the person on the right, carries that handle.  We schlepped to railway stations, busways, trolley cars.  There’s a joke that on Women’s Day, which is highly observed and beautiful (the streets are filled with people carrying all colors of tulips), on Women’s Day women get to keep one hand and arm free and only have to walk carrying stuff with that arm.  We would roar with laughter when we heard that.

Jokes were funny there.  Someone sitting around a small kitchen with you, having some chai (tea) would point to a poster on the wall of glossy fruit, bananas and particularly red apples, and say in a deadpan voice, “We have food in our museums and in our posters,” but not in real life.  In real life we have cockroaches.”  And we would yuck and slap our knees and then I the table. 

Look up is something I think of when a very wise man said, “If things are going contrary to what you wanted, don’t worry.  Keep your eye on the horizon,” and things will get better.    At least that’s my hope. 

Today at the end of the day, i hadn’t taken my more demand walk, so I threw my backpack on and toddled down the street towards Ten Thousand Villages and bought a mother’s day gift for Jessica’s mom. Then I walked out the door and saw Laura was there.  We hugged and chatted and then i walked.

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