A Ukrainian Spring

It’s Spring. Warmer weather, longer days.

Granted, I wear a sweater and a coat when I go on walks, but! — I go on walks.

In Russian, there are two versions of the verb “to go by foot.” “Идти” means to go to a certain place in a particular moment; my Russian teacher translated it as “to head to” somewhere. “Xодите,” on the other hand, lacks that sense of immediacy; it is more general, more leisurely, less tied down to a specific time.

This winter, when the ice and cold were brutal, I practiced идти. Each day, I made a beeline for the university, the post office, the grocery, home. I rarely wandered or took the scenic route or casually suggested to “let’s just see what’s down this way.”

Spring means ходите. It means not having to watch my step on icy pavement. It means that I can look up more often.

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“Sunset at the Railroad” by PCV Nicholas Baylor Hall. Namibia, 2011.