Why do I walk?
- To exercise,
- To clear my mind,
- To see someplace new,
- To see someplace known in a new way,
- To relax,
- To vent,
- To catch up with a friend,
- To remove guilt.
I'm guessing that you were with me up until that last one. Let me explain. There's nothing like walking to food-too-delicious-to-be-good-for-you, that makes the eating of it guilt free. It works regardless of what the actual relationship is of calories burned to calories consumed.
Which is exactly how I found myself on a picnic blanket in Tower Park, a good book in one hand and a smorgasbord of deliciousness from Blue Ribbon BBQ spread before me.
This isn't what you were expecting when I said BBQ? A few years ago I would never have gone to a BBQ place for a salad, but a friend introduced me to it and now it's all I order at Blue Ribbon. The salad is big, crisp and refreshing. It comes with savory, still warm from the oven pulled chicken, that you mix into the cool greens. Add to that homemade balsamic dressing, croutons made from their dense, rich corn bread, and as if that weren't enough, a hearty hunk of the corn bread itself. Oh, and don't forget a side of their pickles!
Now doesn't that sound good?
Take a moment and imagine yourself there:
toes in the cool grass,
birds calling in the trees above,
fresh sweet potato pie melting on your tongue,
and the happy glow that comes at the end of a long walk.
It doesn't matter that Tower Park is a thin strip that runs between Mass. Ave (one of the busiest roads around) and the Minuteman Bike Trail (full of bikers, rollerbladers and walkers of all ages on such a sunny, summer afternoon). It doesn't matter that I feel a blister mysteriously forming, on of all places, the side of my middle toe. This - the walk, the indulgence, the sky above, the joy of shade - is summer.
A couple historical notes about the park:
- Tower Park was donated to the town of Lexington in 1927 by Ellen Tower. She made this donation in an era when people were becoming aware of the need to preserve some open, green space in and around towns.
- Tower Park was the scene of a battle during the famous Battle of Lexington and Concord at the start of the Revolutionary War. Each year on Patriot's Day (a holiday celebrated in mid April in MA) that battle is reenacted. Below I've included a great photo montage of the reenactment from 2010, found of course on YouTube.