I walk at contemplative pace, this morning. The world goes gentle with me.

The chilly fog pulls the landscape in around me; a blanket tugged over my head, like the comforting space under the covers where one imagines tales by flashlight, private, secret, cherished, alone.

This is the Writer’s Walk. A special and uncommon thing. Not the concentrated pace of exercise and exertion. An easy pace in which my feet can do their thing, and my head can do its own.

The tape recorder is more in my hand than out of it. The notes come effortlessly.

I stop to smell the yellow roses that have sent up the season’s last bloom beside a neighbor’s mailbox. I stop to listen to the eagles calling from across the river; to hear the splashes of creatures escaping my approach from riverbank to river below me. An autumn-dozing tree floats a russet leaf into my hand.

I walk—not one with the natural world, as happens sometimes, but simply content to let the world surround me; to let it take its place beside what percolates up from inside my head.

I walk. And this morning, I take my imaginary friends with me.

On mornings like this, the characters become the love that closes out need. They become the lives you witness…the silent companions who speak your thoughts without trying to; who smile at the things that make you smile. These are the moments of exquisite understanding between us, disclosing, generous and elegant. The only company the writer needs on such a rare morning. The moments that almost never happen, a gift when they do. They food we tuck into out memories to nourish ourselves later.

We cannot ask for The Writer’s Walk. We cannot plan it or summon it. It happens when it will. And when we are lucky enough and receptive enough to appreciate it.

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