|Words and Photo by F LoBuono|
We were on our way back after a long walk on a crisp, clear, cold, late winter's day. The hound, leashed, was in one hand, a sizable tree limb was in my other. I often drag large branches or small logs back with me after one of my many forays down the trail. They make good fuel for the small fireplace in my apartment. Using an old ax, I make the large branches into smaller ones to feed the fires that are so nice and toasty after long, frigid walks along the trail with the dog.
I had crossed South Broadway, making the transition from trail to sidewalk, tree branch and dog in tow. We were heading north, about two blocks to go before reaching my apartment. We were bounding along when, in the distance, I noticed a woman walking towards us. She was wearing business attire: black pants-suit, white shirt, black pumps - open, black trench coat flowing behind her. Her hair was short and blond and she had a briefcase swinging in on hand. Although I did not witness it, I assumed that she had taken the TZ Express bus that let her off on the previous corner. It was a bright and beautiful day; a pleasure to experience, especially after so many ugly ones. Evidenced by her lively stride, it was reasonable to surmise that she was enjoying the day as fully as were we. Walking briskly, we closed the gap between us. I glanced over quickly and could see a wry smile come to her face. As we were just about to cross paths she smiled more fully and I heard her say, "you must be walking softly". I smiled politely in return, not registering fully what she had said. She never broke stride. Nor did I. It took a moment. As she had done previously, just before she spoke, I smiled fully, completely. And I felt, this is home.