Decades in Tallahassee and I only just discovered the Alford Greenway, just a 15 minute drive from the Little English Guesthouse.
After a month of Stay at Home, practicing physical distancing, obsessive hand washing and sanitizing everything in sight it was a welcome distraction from Covid-19 to get out in the fresh air and walk a few miles with a friend. (She’s the one in the photo).
Despite being a city girl from London, 30+ years in Florida has changed me and being cooped up without the friendly banter from guests staying with us, people dropping by for a cup of tea, no church activities, gyms closed, this little English innkeeper was ready to break out!
On a conference call with Visit Tallahassee, Inc. (yes, there’s still work to be done even if there are no guests to serve at the Little English Guesthouse!), I was informed that while beaches have been closed because of the crowd capacity, our local parks and trails were never closed. In fact, some vigorous exercise has always been the way to lift spirits and get some feel-good endorphins flooding the brain when the oxytocin missing from hugs and physical touch (no handshaking anymore!) is still a long way off.
The Alford Greenway is the place to be. We took a walk across a covered bridge, through shaded woods, saw 7 “fingers” jutting into Lake Lafayette specifically for fishing or just hanging out one day when we can gather together again. On the trails, we passed (from 6 feet apart, of course), bikers, joggers and although we didn’t see any horseback riders, it’s a perfect spot for them.
Thankfully, we didn’t see come across any alligators, but we did see turtles, anhinga birds and turtles.
Someone called Bill died and his daughter had the creative idea to have a memorial tree here. Long after the flowers from a funeral are gone, this grand old tree continues to provide beauty, shade from the Florida sun and a place to sit and reflect for a moment.
Did I mention the little library in the woods? Complete with jugs of water and bowls for our canine friends, an umbrella in case of rain, this handmade little spot in a clearing was a delightful discovery during this bizarre season of life.
The Alford Greenway covers 800 acres and our particular little trail took us behind a silent schoolyard, a subdivision or two, and across a railway track. At one point I did wonder if little Red Riding Hood was about to appear out of the woods on her way to grandmother’s house.
We are living in a time when schoolyards are silent, restaurant tables are eerily empty and waving at our friends and neighbours from across a safe 6 feet distance has replaced hugs and handshakes.
When does it all end, or how? I know for us, there are some things that may stay “changed”. No more handshaking (although the Namaste bow doesn’t feel quite right for me) for a while. I’m perfecting an effusive welcome greeting to replace the handshake, that may involve a very British curtsy, stay tuned!
I took a little walk today and discovered a new place in Tallahassee. At a time when so many people are unable to leave their homes, or wherever they’ve been told to shelter in place, it felt positively decadent. Gratitude flowed through me as I walked. Clean air, warm sunshine, good company, a body healthy enough to walk a few miles, a wide open space to walk without seeing too many other people (but just enough people for it not to be spooky).
Hopefully, you’re using this time productively to discover new things about yourself…to read a book…plan a trip…teach yourself how to sew a facemask…check, check and check.
Today was highly productive. I took a little walk and rediscovered my sense of gratitude. All it took was a lake, a few trees and some endorphins. Take a walk, you may discover a new place, all within you.
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