Walk the walk.

Every day I walk the dogs on our road.  It’s 4 miles that I divide into 4 parts:  uphill, flat, return flat, and downhill.

The first mile is uphill hard work.  It’s a bitch.  I hate having to face it, but it helps me the most– keeping me in shape, challenging me to move through resistance, and overcoming obstacles.  I stay focused on the road directly in front of me, and this perspective helps to divert my attention from the daunting unending mile ahead.  Every day I don’t want to do it, so much so that it almost deters me from starting the walk.  And every day, as I near the top of the hill, I am grateful for having done it.  I’m grateful that I still can do it.

The next mile is flat and easy.  It’s almost too easy.  After the almost unbearable uphill battle, this flat expanse turns out to be a bit boring, and I find myself tuning out the routine scenery.  My mind is free now to obsess about work and kids and bills.  I suggest to myself to notice the trees and sky and just as quickly tell myself to shut up.  I remind myself to stand straight, instead of slouching.  Bored and restless, I focus on the turnaround spot.

The next mile, I finally relax.  I reach the end of the road and take a big stretch.  I am heading home, so the pressure to walk is removed.  I find myself looking around more, enjoying nature, smelling the air a bit more,  feeling the wind upon my face.  If I am listening to music, I might even take a few pictures on the phone.  As much as I wanted to turn around, I now find myself slowing down.  The dogs come ’round and are happy, tails wagging.  I might pick up a stick and wave it in the air.  As I walk, my arms swing out a bit more, side to side.

The final mile is a bit agitating again.  Although less challenging, it seems more difficult to walk downhill, due to the ease.  It lures me into thinking I can move quickly.   I find myself curbing a tendency to start jogging in the uneven, rocky dirt road.  By this time, I just want to be done walking.  I just want to be sitting on my couch and eating.  Or, I’m feeling so good that I’m regretting the walk being over, yet somehow am not willing to continue.

*   *   *

There is a point in the daily walk when all the rules are broken.  I have almost reached the  downhill part.  I’ve walked most of my walk.  There is nothing to prove and nothing to lose.  It’s almost over, and I suddenly don’t want it to be.  I want to take the time to be right where I am.  I am all alone.  There is a beautiful meadow, and I walk into it.  I am playful, slower.  I look up, around, and begin noticing everything:  the trees, the pond, the clouds, the dogs, the birds, and the light.  I stand and then swirl around, a silly young child.  I giggle and no one notices.

I begin to see hearts everywhere.   It’s my thing– hearts.  Seeing them everywhere.  My way of god-talking.

Maybe I’ll listen to music and sing at the top of my lungs.  I belt it out– loud chick sopranos, diva best.  Six Pence the Richer, song 10, Love~  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTdyNWnq7bA

“The Harvester is near

His blade is on your skin.

To plant a new beginning.”

Well then,  let the cut begin.

Loud wailing spirit bursting, lots of fun and dreamy dancing.  In the snow, I collapse into the soft wet slush and let the dogs rally round, licking, pawing, making sure I’m okay and then waiting for me to get back up.  Love has 4 letters.   Walk has 4 letters.  The walk has 4 parts and in the song, there is a a part where she wails out 4 times, this symphonic humpback-whale guttural birthing crescendo.  The 4s do not escape me; I feel their meaning.

Then it is swiftly over, and I look around.  I notice that I’m a bit cold and wet.  The dogs are nowhere in sight, or they are sitting there patiently, as I wailed and leaped about the meadow.

I begin my careful descent down the hill, down the last mile.  I have somehow managed to do it.  I am so grateful for it to be over and know that I’ll be doing it again, tomorrow.

*   *   *

Every day.  Walk the walk.

 

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