I love to walk. I think it comes from my childhood when I had to walk miles to school. My kids hate to hear that one! I did live way down a long winding wooded lane in the backwoods of Pennsylvania. I still remember the excitement of watching for what I might see around the next bend. Sometimes it was a deer or bunny or a new wildflower in bloom. Twice it was a bear. My love of ‘all that is nature’ grew out of these experiences.
Always Look for What’s Next
One of my walking routes now takes me up a long hill with many notches. Each time I reach a crest. I stop, rest and consider quitting but I always want to see what is just over the next peak of the hill. I’m never disappointed. Each pinnacle shows me something more – a wildflower in bloom I hadn’t seen before, a deserted dilapidated house (I feel they all have a story waiting to be written), or a beautiful scenic view. Even when I walk the same route many days in a row, I still see things I haven’t seen before.
Then I reach the very top and there to delight me is a meadow full of wildflowers and singing birds flitting from bush to bush. I rest a bit and turn to go back but hear the drumming of a woodpecker a little ways ahead. Just a little further, I tell myself, and on I go.
Understanding the Journey
I see my walk through life as being very similar. As I age through each ridge of the hill (really feels more like a mountain) of life, new challenges and experiences present themselves. I gather them up and take a deliberate and conscious effort to understand my journey. Each new walk has something to offer me to feed my spirit if only I take the time to pay attention.
It’s Up to You
Each decade offers new opportunities and forks in the road and I know that as I reach another one, I have a decision to make. I can either wring my hands and bemoan how old I am and get out the rocking chair or I can thank God for bringing me this far and put on my walking shoes and set out for the next crest with enthusiasm.
Since I’m a very practical person and I have more walking shoes than slippers, the choice is easy for me. As the Nancy Sinatra’s song tell us, “These boots are made for walking.” I intend to continue to embrace life and walk (or crawl if I have to) to see what’s over the next bluff until I come to the final zenith. There are too many books to read and write to stop now.
Plus, I have forbidden myself to die before my book, Tracing the Invisible Women, is published.