On Places, Puddles & Plans

October 12, 2011, Washington, DC: I went for a soggy walk through my neighborhood this evening. I had no plan. Forty minutes later, I was the honored owner of a well-worn book with the inscription below, as well as another book I’d been searching for for quite some time. I’d also been invited to a neighborhood pig roast.

Fantastic things can happen when you don’t have a plan.

But how often do we carve out time for a destination-less stroll? How often do we let ourselves wander? How valuable are these aimless walks in our search for the perfect community?

Perhaps it’s critical to let ourselves wander.

I’d planned on doing nothing tonight. But when I drove into my neighborhood after a horrendously rainy commute, these blocks had transformed into a lush, green rainforest. And so I walked. Had I not, I wouldn’t have stopped in to P&C Market on Lincoln Park, a quaint spot tucked away next to Surroundings, a gardening shop flanked by pumpkins and corn husks. I wouldn’t have learned about their local, organic milk, nor the meat brought in from Virginia’s Polyface Farms. I wouldn’t have been invited to their upcoming pig roast, nor left with these parting instructions: “Bring a side dish. Come meet your neighbors.”

If I’d had a plan tonight, I’m fairly sure it wouldn’t have included a stop in Riverby Books on East Capitol, where a sign on the counter read, “You can find me downstairs” and the shopkeeper and his customer were deep in conversation about the disappearance of the Republican Party they once knew. I wouldn’t have instinctively wandered into the section called urbanism, where my eyes quickly fell on the book, Crabgrass Frontier, penned by my former professor Kenneth Jackson, one I’d lost long ago in my stack of books from college. Had I not taken time to explore, I wouldn’t have discovered Terry Pindell’s A Good Place to Live on that same shelf, screaming my name with its perfect inscription: “Christmas 1997, Dear Mom, Hope this proves inspirational in your search for the perfect community. -K”

If I hadn’t wandered this evening, I may not have noticed the loads of autumn leaves that fell today. I might not have noticed the puddles. I probably wouldn’t have taken time to realize what a good sign it is to live in a neighborhood that entices you to walk in the rain.

Advertisements

11 thoughts on “On Places, Puddles & Plans

  1. Your blog is really inspiring to me! It’s beautiful and, yet, has something to say. I am new to blogging, but deeply interested in writing, thinking, and learning about neighborhood living.

  2. Pingback: I’ll Meet You Anytime You Want… | neighborhood nomad

  3. Pingback: Map of Mornings: H Street NE | neighborhood nomad

  4. Pingback: Hidden Beauty & Unnoticed Oddities | neighborhood nomad

  5. Pingback: Do You Live in a Stressful City? | neighborhood nomad

  6. Pingback: Spontaneity in the City | neighborhood nomad

  7. Pingback: Taking The Scenic Route | neighborhood nomad

  8. Pingback: Nights I Love This Place | neighborhood nomad

  9. Pingback: Creative Collisions in the City | neighborhood nomad

  10. Pingback: One Year, Ten Photos | neighborhood nomad

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s