Alley Walk

I'm always walking through my neighborhood. I love the elm-lined streets and the cute old houses and I watch in dread and hope as new homes go up. I also love that my neighbourhood is so old that its grid has odd angles and irregular lots and secret little walkways. I've walked here for years, but I still don't know all the bends and turns by heart.

The other day I got a little more disoriented than usual. I walked through the alleys - no roads allowed! Some were paved, others - like mine - rutted gravel.

I've often heard people disparage alleys - "it's where people store their junk." And it's true, but I discovered, they can also be places of beauty and life.

My walk certainly wasn't glamorous. Yes there were overgrown weeds and garbage bins and junk collections. But there were also basketball hoops and sunflowers. Grapes growing on the sides of garages and neatly staked tomato patches. Unwieldy rhubarb stalks and ever-spreading raspberries. Everywhere, signs of life!