I was walking the dogs this morning–following our usual route up the hill past the old St Ben’s, around the tennis and pickle-ball courts, along the Mount Ogden putting green, beside the soccer fields, then back over the hill on Circle Way–when I realized how many cultures I encounter on my Sunday perambulation. At St Benedict’s Manor, a resident enjoys a smoke, expectorating loudly as I pass by; at the park, SUVs assemble in the parking lot, which serves the courts and golf course: the white men in khakis head for the course, the white couples head for the courts; at the fields, four all-Mexican teams play spirited matches while their families sell concessions; at Circle Way, Mormon families dressed in their Sunday best drive or walk to and from church. Overall a fairly representative slice of Ogden’s people inhabit my little world on Sunday morning. The rich, the poor; the white, the brown; the Mormon, the Catholic, the non-religious; the team sports, the individual sports, the non-athletic. What strikes me is how close we come to each other without actually touching. I’d say we rub shoulders, but we don’t. Two girls, whose mother is watching a soccer match, giggle as Bubba walks by then come forward to pet him. I introduce him, say hello. Then I’m gone. And they run back to their mother. My dogs reach out beyond my circle of comfort to approach strangers, to say hello. We humans bump up against each other. Most of the people I encounter on my walk barely acknowledge my passing; I merely notice their existence.
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