It was a beautiful day in the capital today, and I was conscious of needing a greater-than-normal infusion of protein to ready myself for a return to Sanshou class. So I bypassed the salad I normally bring to work in favor of procuring a hefty sandwich. The walk off the beaten path to a deli I only hit a couple of times a year afforded me a view of the street I work on that I don’t encounter often on foot. So I captured it.
I’ve spent the majority of my waking hours for the past seven years in a building at this intersection. It sends a shiver down my spine when I think of it that way.
About six hours later, I thought the street on which I’ve spent the second greatest number of waking hours in the last several years deserved to be commemorated as well. This one – the one where my kung fu school has existed for more than thirty years – means a lot more to me than the first. In fact, as the years have ticked on, my feelings for the two have completely reversed.
I was once so grateful to be back near Capitol Hill, bringing the news of what happens there (or doesn’t, as the case may be) to the interested masses, after a long hiatus for childbirth and another college degree. Now, I go there almost exclusively for the paycheck. There’s gratitude for that still, of course, but no longer the kind that’s wrapped around joy.
“Kung Fu Road,” in contrast, was once a place I went to get a little exercise and lose a little weight. But most of all, it was where I dragged myself to make a resentful child a little happier, after I moved him up the highway against his will. Now, it’s the street where I changed for the better when I wasn’t looking, and I wouldn’t trade the time I’ve spent there for anything.
Neither has been an easy street to occupy. But both have made my journey a fascinating one.
Here’s to the streets each of us trudge in our lives and the days we have to enjoy them….