Today I took a walk from my neighborhood (Santa Fe) to the Temescal shops with my friend and neighbor, Lisa. It was sunny, and lovely to wander through the neighborhoods of Bushrod. We talked about whether she should buy a car, or whether she could get by walking, riding her bike, and using rideshares. One of the beauties of living in the East Bay, and raising a child here, is that it has both the advantages of a small town and a city. You can get from El Cerrito in the north to Oakland airport in 20 minutes, and it really is possible to get most of your errands and shopping done on a bike. The only issue is school drop-off/pick-up, which would be easy on a bus (and later with bikes), if only the morning wasn’t usually a mad scramble to get out the door. I can’t imagine adding another 30 minute to that routine.
Our destination was the Mariposa Baking Company, which makes gluten-free baked goods. It also has a lunch counter and seating for those who want to sit for a gluten-free meal or coffee. Lisa has celiac disease and adheres to a strictly gluten-free diet. I got some tea cakes for my theater group meeting tonight. Along the way, we stopped at the Well Cafe, which was just opened by another neighbor. Their philosophy is healing and health through food, and the atmosphere was lovely. I’ve been trying to balance my hormones and moods with homeopathy and diet, and their unique tea blends focus on a variety of issues, so this will be a new destination in coming months. Other places for healing tea blends include Alembique Apothecary, and Lhasa Karnak Herb Company.
On our way home we talked about the ‘invisible work’ that most women still disproportionately take care of in the home. Recently, there has been more discussion about the continuation of gender roles in the home, despite two-income, two-career households. Ironically, this conversation has been generated by women’s own experiences balancing all of it, and they are in the process making a lot of this work visible. I always find it inspiring to glimpse the experiences of other working women, and working parents. I feel supported by them and their openness to sharing their experiences.
There’s nothing like a walk to relax your mind, balance your emotions, and expand your horizons. Especially a walk with a friend.