Sunday, October 31, 2010

Korea - River Walking - October 22nd

The small television screen in the elevator indicated rain last night, however we had only a few hazy clouds yesterday afternoon and a brilliant blue sky today after the morning clouds burned off. Yesterday I went for a long walk on the river heading south. I like to walk further and further when I have time because it is rather intriguing to see what is just around the bend. There were many dogs out walking as well and that seems to be Ruby’s signal to bark. snarl, viciously bite the rim of her stroller, as we passed these teacup sized dogs. I have tried to condition her to ignore them or when she is walking, to position her so as to block her view from the oncoming dogs. I have succeeded sometimes. I walked further south than I had before. I had taken a break in one of the pagodas above the path, but the buzzing hum of six or seven leaf blowers in unison on the other side of the river, and up the hill made me decide to continue on my walk. As I was leaving that park I noticed a sign which indicated that I was very close to the subway station two stops from my home. We headed back in the warm afternoon after having had our brief respite in the shade. At that time in the afternoon quite a number of senior citizens go for walks. They enjoy chuckling and laughing at Ruby in the pet stroller. They are so sweet and friendly that it makes me laugh or smile too. I love the late afternoon light because it always gives a different look to the world. (When I lived in Saipan my favorite time to go shell hunting was when the afternoon sun was getting low in the sky.) The light on the river was beautiful. The river itself varied in color from olive green shades to a light muddy beige color, but the reflection from the hillside, and especially a rather large willow tree right by the water was unique. I felt as if I was seeing the scene through the sun warped windows that I loved so much in a house that we had rented in Forest Grove some years ago. Somehow, with the slight breeze the reflection looked as if there were tiny areas of color bent at different angles. There was a light clarity about it that was so striking. It reminded me of the many different looks hat a river can have. After the bad storms the water was very high, moving swiftly and having a heavy sheen that gave the water a heavy, oily look. Now the river was at least a foot lower, and seemed docile by comparison. There were a number of egrets along the river banks, each surveying it’s own domain. In one area a female was in the river as well. It was such an enjoyable way to spend the afternoon. At almost five in the afternoon it is still 72 degrees. Ruby and I went for a quick walk this morning. After doing some chores, making some calls and watching my brilliant new granddog via Skype I put Ruby in her stroller and we headed out for an afternoon walk by the river. I found another way to get down to the river (there are many) and this walk is very pretty with a canopy of trees overhead. The leaves are falling and they were brittle and crunchy as Ruby and I walked though them. We went north today, watching people play a funny type of golf, and enjoying the river sounds and the lively activity of the magpies and pigeons. Going over the pedestrian bridge I saw one of my co-workers jetting by at top speed on his bike. He waved in recognition. I really am easy to spot with Ruby’s vivid green pet stroller. I walked rather far and having a book with me I decided to stop and read for awhile. My original stopping and reading place unfortunately had a pipe break nearby during the huge flooding storm that we had earlier. Judging by the smell, we still needed to take a break from that spot. We walked further on and there was a little pagoda on the path, but a number of people were in it. I had been to the park behind that area before and headed up there today. Sometimes that area has rather a sad, neglected feeling, but today in the sun it felt perfect. There were a number of people at picnic tables and on park benches. Also there must be a hospital nearby because I often see patients walking around that area or being wheeled around in wheelchairs. Korea seems to be a modest place and dress is conservative. But, hospital patients wear their pajamas when they go out so it is easy to spot them. I found a sunny spot under a tree that also had a bit of shade close-by in case Ruby preferred that. The air smelled warm and dense with the smell of the warmed brown leaves. I leaned up against a tree trunk. The bark was was rough, but it felt good to feel nature all around me. Ruby was restless and so continually pulled the leash that I had placed over my bare foot, having discarded my socks the minute I sat down. Still, despite the tugging I was able to enjoy the beautiful day, the people biking or walking through the park, the sun warmed air with a cool undercurrent to it, and the beautiful blue sky. I read about 20 pages when suddenly Ruby was snarling, lunging and baying! A feral cat had come out of the hedge between us and the river. It was large, with black fun, and white paws. It was at least half again as big as Ruby, but that didn’t deter her in the least. The cat looked uncertainly toward me, and again at Ruby, and then furtively slunk back into the bushes. That only became a more exciting game to Ruby who used that as her cue to throw herself forward on her lead, only to bounce back each time. I think that I have learned from watching the egrets on the water’s edge how to stay present in the moment better. However, despite my encouragement to sit back down Ruby was determined to catch that cat! We packed up, brushing the dry and fragrant leaves from my clothes and her fur, and headed down the ramp to walk south on the river to my home.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful post, Heidi! The river bank looks like a beautiful place to take a walk in the afternoon! I can't believe that the cat was nearly one-and-a-half times the size of Ruby - it must have been huge! The pictures you have posted are beautiful! What book were you reading on the river bank? :)