Saturday, March 25, 2006

A Day with the Ducks

I didn't play hooky the last few days when we had such summer-like weather; but although it's a little overcast today, I feel a tug to go this afternoon to one of my favorite places in Los Angeles to stroll. I often use the Venice canals for a walking meditation; sometimes reading from my book of meditations and prayers.

So many tourists pass by without knowing the canals exist --now that the homes alongside them run in the millions, probably the most expensive per-square-foot real estate in LA, I'm sure the residents are content more visitors don't stroll there. Only a few hundred feet away, the Venice Boardwalk is cheek-and-jowl every weekend from now until winter, yet the canals offer a serene oasis in the city.

I have tons of photos
of the canals somewhere at home; during the holidays, the bridges and boats are decorated and lit, and there's even a parade of boats.

I found this stock photo that gives one a general idea of what you see as you stroll; of course, you can't see the plentiful duck poop on the sidewalks in the picture, which makes for very mindful walking even as you are emptying your mind of worries and cares and cobwebs. Click on the header at top to go to a link on the Venice canals, with lots more photos.

Still, nothing quite takes the place of actually visiting the canals. It's a treat I too rarely give myself, even though it's there year 'round and --until the locals get too exclusive about their enclave-- open to the public for fun and for free. A good part of the experience is watching and listening to first time visitors, from children chasing the ducks (there's a small playground for kids off one of the canals) to the quiet ambling of couples hand in hand. What would make it perfect is if there were seats and perhaps picnic tables so I could sit and write there, but it's a small thing to quibble over.

I have this nagging feeling that there was something I was going to do today, but I can't for the life of me remember what it was, so this will be a suitable alternative.

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