Watching the old Chinese man walk the park

feb march 299

He does it everyday. At least an hour, sometimes two.

The park is small, it is across from my house. My large picture window allows me to watch others unnoticed. There is a sidewalk that circles the park. It is there that he walks. Never off the sidewalk, always on the path. Around and around he goes.

I imagine where he came from, was he from the old country? Did his family come here to seek a new life? Did his daughter marry into America and he came unwillingly? What does he think of it here. Is he bored?

Why does he just walk around the circle? Why not elsewhere? Maybe he does, I only see him here.

What is he thinking about? Is this some sort of meditation practice that he does? I have seen his wife walk with him rarely. She walks in front of him, which is against their homeland culture. Maybe it is simply that he walks so slow, she has lapped him. She never walks with him. Maybe it is the speed that she cannot deal with.

The idea of routine is foreign to me. Doing the same thing everyday, living, eating the same things over and over. To walk in circles and never get anywhere, I do not understand.

In this great big, amazing, full of possibilities world.

Why would one want to stay in the same place, walk the same path, every day of their life.

The idea of doing the same thing everyday may have a calming effect, I guess. You know what you get, you know where you are. You won’t get lost. You know your way. The biggest change is that of the seasons. The years blend together.

I tried walking the path, his path, before. After a couple of laps, I turned around. I walked the other way, just to see a new perspective.

He doesn’t even do that. Always counter-clockwise. Over and over, around and around. It’s like standing still, but, moving forward. An illusion of progress, yet still.

Not for me. I need to see more. Let’s crack this baby wide open!

Hazel

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