Wednesday, February 25, 2009
How My World Has Contracted
I just spent 45 minutes going around the block. Granted, we went three times 'round, but still, it took 45 minutes. V was on her tricycle singing a variety of songs, most of which went something like "bumpy bumpy bumpy bumpy -- Mom! Did you like that song? -- Bumpy bumpy bumpy . . ." I took the dog, who was nearly frantic with impatience at going the speed of a three-year-old. Ironic, considering she, too, likes to stop for no apparent reason and for random intervals of time, and with no concern for who might bump into her. Fortunately for us all it is a perfect spring day, with just a few clouds in the sky, lovely sun, and random strangers to cheerfully greet along the way. Nonetheless, I couldn't quite settle into a walking-with-a-kid groove. I kept thinking how far my world has contracted. I rarely go more than 20 blocks from home; a trip to the grocery store alone is an adventure; strangers' blogs have become my window on the world. It's a far cry from backpacking through Europe alone, using my last Deutsche Marks to buy a cup of tea, an orange, and the International Herald Tribune in a dreary train station in East Berlin and casually avoiding the random stranger who wanted me to come home, cook and bear children for him (I think -- it was all done in drunken early-morning sign language). My walk today made me nostalgic for who I was then. But then V turned around, smiled, and told me that she sang that song just for me. And my world, small as it is, was enough.