Someone asked me not too long ago about what music I listen to when I take my morning walks.
When I first started developing my walking (and biking) habit, it was 2000 and I was newly retired. I wanted to physically embed all the seasons of living in St. Louis into my soul so I started walking from 3-5 days a week all year around. I walked to the B52s, Anya, Tony Bennett, Jimmy Buffett...you get the picture.
When we moved to Florida in '01, I still wore my ear plugs and a small tape player in a waist pouch but when we moved to Tarpon Springs, I stopped listening to other people's music and started listening to a different music entirely and that has made a big difference.
I generally walk between 5-7 days a week and between 2.5-5 miles a day depending on the weather and my mood. Wed. -Friday, E drops me off at Tarpon Tavern on our way home from taking our granddaughter to school. And the music begins. Other days, I walk anywhere.
I love walking through our small but lively down town. Paris, our friend who manages our favorite restaurant, always starts my walk with a hello when she sees me. The woman who sweeps the sidewalk in front of the oldest (and only ) department store greets me with a cheery hello and so do any other merchants who are setting up in front of their stores. The hellos to me are like the flutes in a huge orchestra, fun and lively.
I cross Alt. 19 and head towards Spring Bayou and, as I walk around the rim, besides the greetings exchanged, I hear the rhythmic slap slap of the water against the sea wall...pure bass!
I head one of two ways from there but both are on side streets shaded and the sounds are soft and muted and soothing. The rubbing of the leaves of the trees as a breeze passes through, the bark of a dog and the shush of the owner...each contributes to the song in a way.
My next part of the journey is down Athens where the clink of worry beads and the melodic Greek of the older men sitting outside of the tavernas resonates til I turn the corner onto the Sponge Docks. There the hurry and scurry of the shop keepers setting up their wares moves my feet at a faster pace. And the best note of all comes from the sponge boat captain and the men working the boats with their " Hello, lovely lady"...now, they are being kind but the flattery does not hit a false note with me.
I travel for a short while down Alt. 19, passing over the Anclote and the song of the tide is an ever constant. I've had mostly nice horn accompaniments from passing cars and the swish swish swish of the traffic speeds up my step once again. Around the corner, down the street and I am home.
So, do I listen to music when I walk? Oh, yes. And the sweetest music of all... that of my town.