Tuesday, January 22, 2008


January 20, 2008
I’m going for a walk. My husband keeps saying to the kids “As soon as (Sports - basketball, soccer, etc) is over we’re going to start walking. All of us.”… “As soon as the snow is gone, we’re ALL going to start walking.” It’s always later. Why not now? There will always be something in the way. We have four children. There will always be something. I use to think “Oh, I’m pregnant, it’s too hard. Once I have the baby, then I’ll walk”. There’s always something.
We have to be at church at 8 this morning. I still have to get all the children up, moving, dressed, fed. I only have an hour and a half to do it all. There’s no time for a walk today. I need a shower. My son didn’t finish the dishes and he forgot to wash the stove. There are 4 loads of laundry to fold. It’s Sunday, didn’t God tell us to rest today? Why am I doing this? I don’t have time and really, what sort of difference will it make in my day. I’m just going to be tired, cold and achy. I don’t want to do this.
I guess I could at least go to the neighbors mailbox, it’s not that far, then I could just turn back. At least that’s better than nothing. Well it’s just a bit farther to the turn, I’ll go there and decide then. Another mailbox, just a few more feet - really - I’m already out here so I’ll do it. I can see the end of the road. I think I’ll go for it. It’s uphill a bit and my legs ache but I’m almost there. Do I want to stop at the mailbox or go another 6 feet to the tree on the corner? The tree, I think. It’s tall and old. It can help me bear this burden. I pause and look at it - I honestly don’t know if it’s an oak, maple, elm. It’s my silent witness. In the cold gray still of a frigid January morning it is my solitary ‘fan’ standing there waiting for me to cross it‘s path. I consider unloading my burdens there, just considering is enough, they fly away like a flock of birds in the autumn sky. I’m so glad, I’m not sure my companion could bear all my pain, sorrow, frustration.

January 21, 2008
A subzero morning. I really don’t want to do this. I have to take my husband to work. I’m outside anyway. My better thinking tells me it’s much too cold to be outside. Even a dedicated athlete might reconsider going out today. I drop him at work and come home. I sit in the van for a few minutes listening to the radio. I finally decide to get out. As my feet hit the ground they decide for me. Of course I’ll walk. This is only day two. If I don’t go today I might just quit. I know it’s freezing but I set my bag on the front step and head out. First mailbox, corner, second mailbox… I look up. The corner seems so far but the wind is at my back. I decide I should zip my coat but find that I can’t. So I tuck my hands into my sleeves wrapping myself against the cold. I reach the corner and start to feel a bit dizzy. Maybe I’ve tried too hard. Maybe I should have turned before or not gone at all. Maybe this isn’t safe. As I head into the wind I watch as ice begins to form on the hair on my cheeks. It’s colder that I had thought and now the wind is in my face. Not a strong Nor’easter but just the breeze. On a subzero morning it might as well be a billowing wind. What will I do when the next storm comes, as they inevitably do? What if they don’t plow my road til later? I can’t walk in a foot of snow. My legs ache and I observe my footprints in the snow as I walk past them. I’m not even picking my feet up far enough to come completely out of the dusting of snow on the road. Each footprint is followed by a ‘tail’ where my foot didn’t quite get above then snow. It seems like I’m taking normal strides so why do they look like that? I guess I’ll worry about that some other time. I’m walking and that’s enough.

January 22,2008
I walk… It’s freezing outside and I walk. Because I can’t afford the gym, I walk. I weigh 300 pounds so I walk. I hate to walk, but I can, so I do. My body aches, but it’s a different kind of ache. I used to think “I’m so out of shape. My body can’t take this.” So I wouldn’t do it. I was afraid my heart or joints couldn’t take it. But the ache I feel now… it’s an able ache. It’s my muscles screaming out “I CAN do this. Please let me do this”, like a screaming fan at a football game whose voice is so raw they can barely scream anymore - but they do - for the pure joy of it. I walk because I am able, and that is a joy.

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