Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Simple pleasures... and walking

I've been going to work almost daily for the past week and a half. While I've been missing my quiet thinking time at home, and seeing my friend, Charleen, on Tuesdays, and going to the SSVP clothing room on Thursdays, I have enjoyed the work I've been doing and my time with my L'Arche friends. I've also really appreciated walking home.

I'm not a morning person, so getting my kids out the door to school and hustling the twenty-one blocks to work isn't really an option -- especially on the icy morning sidewalks. After the girls leave the house, I have just enough time to make myself a lunch and head down the alley to catch the 8:15 bus. I'm starting to know the faces of the passengers, and seem to have regular conversations about our Novemberish weather with a woman from Finland as we get off the bus at the mall. Then I walk the last four blocks to work, arriving at 8:30 on the button most mornings.

After a day in front of a computer screen in a stuffy office, the walk home is really wonderful. I keep a fairly good pace so that I can feel my muscles complaining just a little by the time I'm within a block of home. I love to take careful steps where there's ice and then to stride along where the sidewalks are clear, to breathe deeply, to feel the weight of my backpack and the slight perspiration between it and my back. I revel in the endorphins and the healthy feeling of a good walk, where I can moodle about things as I go, say hello to the people I pass, and appreciate that I'm not contributing to climate change though I am contributing to my cardiovascular stamina. When I see an elderly woman gingerly walking her dog, I am suddenly reminded that I will not always be able to swing along like this, unconcerned about the threat of slick ice beneath a skiff of snow, and I am grateful for present solidity of bone and strength of sinew. I appreciate it even moreso when I think of a friend my age who is awaiting a hip replacement because she was born with hip dysplasia. Cristina, I'm walking for you, too. I hope that surgery comes soon!

Walking has become such a marvelous simple pleasure, it's getting so that I hate to drive. Unsurprisingly, I don't hear the planet complaining...

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