Musing the Can is a whimsical observation and reflection while out walking one morning. I hope that you enjoy it.
I row on a team with other guys three times a week. On my non-rowing days I walk along a shore road, around an old fort, and loop back for a 2.5 mile brisk walk very early in the morning. Last week the wind was howling and it was bitter cold as well so I kept my ski cap on and hood up from start to finish. As most people know, sounds are muffled when your ears are covered and that, coupled with the nylon hood flapping madly in the wind added its own dimension of distraction. Still, I kept hearing this far-off “tinkling” sound that started very faintly at first, then seemed to get louder as I walked along. I turned, expecting to see another walker, perhaps with a dog, or something that would reveal the source of this increasingly annoying sound. But I saw nothing or at least I couldn’t make out anything in the pre-dawn light.
The sound grew louder and faster in repetitions, until finally I saw it, a can, a beer can to be exact, tumbling along about thirty feet behind me, driven by the wind. I was amused and thought, great, I’m walking with a beer can today! The same wind pushing me slowly made the beer can roll faster and faster and in less than a minute the silly little thing passed me clinking and clacking to who knows where.
I watched it move ahead of me, the sound tapering off until I could barely hear it once again. A minute or so later a huge guest of wind pushed against my back as I was nearing the end of my walk. The same guest caught up to my little rolling companion too and sent it spinning wildly across the grassy strip and into the road that ran parallel to the walkway. I was catching up to this rolling distraction as the curb provided a leeward break from the unrelenting wind.
Now me and my little can were side by side until it slowly picked up steam once more, this time heading straight into the middle of the road. Almost immediately I heard a decisive “crunch” as a small red truck went rumbling by. Now, there it was, my suddenly silenced…flat, whatever, a still sliver of shiny metal sitting lifeless in the road. In less than a minute I was back at my car, got in, and headed home and onward with my day.
I thought about that silly can off and on all day. I felt grateful too, that if only one of us had the chance to get where we were going that morning, that it was me and not the other way around.