Thursday, April 06, 2006

Finding His Stride

Yesterday I read Poor Mad Peter's blogpost about walking and commented that I envied his ability to walk his way through Lent. Well, through any day really. Yesterday dearest one and I walked less than a quarter of a mile before my spoons were used up. During that walk I said how I missed the ability to walk as much I would like to. Walking used to be about getting there and back - sweating off calories and accomplishing something. Power walking is a thing of the past for me now. I used to do it so hard that I injured my shoulder permanently from pumping my arms too hard as I walked. When I got into my moods where I was going for a walk dammit, I couldn't care less about the beauty of my surroundings or even what was happening in my body. It was all about the goal and not the journey.

These days walks are more about the moment. There is an awareness of all of life around me and in me that I am grateful for. Having to be aware if I'm getting short of breath, or if my heart is racing and whether it's getting to be an effort to lift my feet makes me grateful for any walking I can do. I have to guage how far I can go down the road and still have enough spoons left to get back to the house. We live on a dead end road and there won't be anyone to pick me up and give me a ride if my spoons get used up before I'm home! And soon it will be time to watch out for black bears trying to get where they're going and hoping our paths don't cross on the way. I just hope the bear doesn't wait until I am looking at all the pretty stones on the road to make his appearance. I am a sucker for rocks and would like to bring home a pocketful every time I walked. Oh boy, can you belive I was once so legalistic that I wouldn't let my kids bring rocks home from our walks because those rocks belonged to the government. Sigh. Oh, thank God I've journeyed since then.

Earlier in the year dearest one once walked backwards facing me as I walked forward saying he was breaking the wind for me even though there was no breeze. I was so spoonless by this time that I could not lift my feet and the house was barely in sight. He had laughter in his eyes and I smiled back but we both struggled with the reality of my old-age shuffle.

Even though I was envious of PMP's Lenten walks I am thankful that nearly a quarter of a mile was a possibility yesterday. Earlier in Lent I decided to challenge myself and I walked a mile a day several times a week. No matter how much the doctors tell me to go slow and build up to something more than I can do now I keep trying to push my body more than is possible for the long term. Five minutes daily would be something if I could do it daily and then the goal is to do 5 minutes twice a day and gradually build on those times. I do try to do that kind of walking but eventually I get a "piss on this" attitude and want the old days back so I push myself too much. Then it takes days to recuperate and I am back to zero again.

If dearest one walks with me then the distance is shorter because walking and talking take many more spoons than silent strides. Through 18 homes and two provincs we have long hashed out life and struggles by going for a walk. It's been one of our favourite ways of spending time together.

What I appreciated about Peter's post is that he has found his stride. One that appreciates the journey without having limitations force him to be aware and so alive in the process. He questioned how he would view it if he did have limitations. He dropped the thought that some see circumstances as God's way of testing us and added a prayer that God save us from such assumptions. I don't feel tested by God in all this at all. I think about who I am becoming in this process and even with mourning what once was, I feel deeply loved and grateful.

Peter closed with these thoughts:
"I don't know, but I could hazard that my way of looking at Grace would be very different from what it is, now. And I would hope to have the Grace to see the Grace, whatever form it takes. As it is, I am feeling more and more blessed, and absolutely bewildered by that. " ~(emphasis added)

I sat here and thought to myself "me too, Peter, me too."

No comments: