Walking. With Chernobyl.

305 consecutive days. Like in a row. Cove Island Park morning walk @ daybreak.

I dress. Full winter protection. I’ll leave it at that. There will be no she-wolf-pack piling on today. Lori, Kiki, Dale and all you others and your mocking. Sad, really. Find some other old dog to kick.

Back to the story.

It started last night. I wash down two Tylenol PMs.  Twist right earbud in. Cue up several Youtube videos. And cover up and listen. Because one needs a distraction from the Mind…drip…drip…drip.

First video. What scientists discovered in the Chernobyl forest years after the Nuclear Power Plant disaster in 1986. Worth a watch here.  Video ends and moves to the second. What sort of human cues up a Chernobyl disaster documentary as a bedtime pacifier?

I wake, thinking about Chernobyl.

I walk thinking about Chernobyl.

I pass a Dunkin’ Iced Coffee cup, half full, sitting on park bench. Plastic top discarded behind the bench. I scan the area, no trash can. Disgusting.

I walk.

I pass not one, but two baby blue surgical masks at the base of a tree.

I walk.

I pass a empty Fritos chip bag.

I walk.

I pass a single mitten, wool, wet and dirty.

I walk.

I pass a plastic Mountain Dew bottle.

I walk. Damn, this is pulling me Down.

I round the corner on the path, 100 yards from the car.

And there she is.

I walk, leaving her behind me. God, the weight of Her, I can’t bear it.

I stop, turn, and walk back.

I stand over top of Her, admiring the beauty of the feathers, the miracle work of those Wings. Now grounded. Get a grip Man. 

I bend over, grab her by her legs, and walk.

My head bowed.

Her wings unfurl…the weight of Her….just too much.

Sleep Girl. Sleep.


  • DK @ Daybreak. 5:28 am &  6:06 am, March 6, 2021. 28° F, feels like 20° F. Cove Island Park, Stamford, CT.
  • Post inspired by: ““There is no intensity of love or feeling that does not involve the risk of crippling hurt. It is a duty to take this risk, to love and feel without defense or reverse.” – William S. Burroughs – from a letter to Jack Kerouac


  1. You are an inspiration, David and your photos, stunning! Darn, very sad parts to your morning. No need to get a grip…..genuine feelings…..virtual hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I was not going to rag on you about your dress, maybe laugh about your choice of calming media, but then I saw her, and I immediately teared up. I’m quite sure this caused an instant heart and mind shift for you as well. heartbreaking.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. The sight of that magnificent creature brought low is truly heartbreaking.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Your image is breathtakingly beautiful, David. And your last image made me suck in my breath. Beautiful creature brought down by man.
    During my daily walks I am disgusted by the quantity of masks and other garbage. People. Wake up.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Just watched the video you linked. Fascinating stuff…

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Barry Mallin says:

    David, in another date or time I would have read this and passed, but the gloom of it slipped into me, possibly because my impending surgery on Monday. I continue to enjoy your work and remain one of your best fans!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. One of the benefits of walking a dog David is you always have bags in your pockets. I use mine a lot to pick up other people’s messes. I like to think of it as my gift to nature.

    And I was curious about how watching a video about Chernobyl made it to sleeptime viewing but reading your post, I came away with tears in my eyes.

    Like the bird my girlfriend and I rescued a week ago, we cannot know if it survived or not, what I do know is that whatever happened, for those 15 minutes I walked holding it in my hands (another good use for a dog poop bag btw) and breathing on it, and whispered loving words to it, I know it was held in loving hands.

    and sometimes, all we can do is hold nature’s delicate creatures in loving hands/thoughts and pray for all of humankind.

    Thank you for the beauty you shared this morning. I am in awe of how sleep-time became dream-time became real-time softening of all our hearts.

    Thank you for your humanity.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. This is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. It was wonderful to read.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. That is so sad, DK. The real world has its harsh side, for sure. Very sad, but death is part of the cycle. That bird isn’t suffering anymore. Its children will carry on.


  10. Perhaps she saw you with equal wonder for 304 mornings and thought, If anything happens, may he be the first to touch me.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had no idea where you were going, willingly following you wherever your thoughts went (tho’ I don’t recommend videos about Chernobyl before sleep), and figuring that after all these years of walking with you (figuratively), I’d get the route. I wasn’t prepared for my heart to ache, for the tears…

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    This hurts!! … “I stand over top of Her, admiring the beauty of the feathers, the miracle work of those Wings. Now grounded. Get a grip Man. I bend over, grab her by her legs, and walk. My head bowed. Her wings unfurl … the weight of Her … just too much. Sleep Girl. Sleep.”

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Thank you for the beautiful photos–with them we have the profound beauty. Without them, I can’t …comment…too much heart ache.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a truly terrible and sad beginning of my Sunday (6.50am)….
    I have no words – all this just makes me so sad Dave. The forever sleeping beauty. The debris if thoughtless ppl. You watching Chernobyl videos to go to sleep.💤
    It’s not how I feel anybody should end or start their day.
    Sending you a bunch of positive thoughts. You seem to need them. 🤍

    Liked by 1 person

  15. so sad, and your words capture it so well…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Heartbreaking… and heart opening. Thank you for this feeling. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Love the Burroughs.
    It kinda reminds me of a Zorba quote…
    “Life is trouble. Only death is not. To be alive is to undo your belt and look for trouble. ”
    Haha…Isnt that horrible?
    I recently found my little ninth grade sweetheart. Hadn’t seen her in 49 years, since the summer her family moved away. We were about as in love as a couple 15 year olds can be.
    Ya know, when you find an old friend like that all you can do is hope that they are OK. That they got through this Chernobyl of a life without too much damage. I’m sad to say that like the Burroughs quote she has experienced some crippling hurt. Is STILL experiencing crippling hurt. But she says my stories make her smile.
    They say the land will be fit to live on around Pripyat in anther 50 years or so? I wonder how long we’ll be picking up blue masks.
    Lets hope its not that long for her. That long for us.
    Poor goose. He’s got no more trouble.

    Liked by 1 person

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