I started walking a few months ago. Inspired by my sister-n-law, who has been walking for a few years, it has become time carved out for me. Whether listening to NPR's The Ted Radio Hour or The Story or This American Life, the stories inspire and energize me, and I traverse for greater distances than I first imagined. With my headphones on, I am in my own insular, intellectually stimulating bubble...without interruptions. For a mother, this IS sacred space. What started as a "should do," has evolved into a "have to do" for my own personal sanity. It has become much more than a routine, but a way of being that is necessary and natural. I love the feel of my muscles connecting- the rhythm and cadence of moving my own body forward ...heel to toe, heel to toe.
I don't remember a time in recent past where I've been so ready to shed the previous year and all the baggage it contained. I still struggle with the concept that life is challenging, that this is normal, and that it will continue to be so for the rest of my life. I have spent much of my life longing for some kind of end to witnessing and feeling pain. The rigors and whip lash effects of daily life have made me yearn for life to go down a little easier, like butter on toast- often looking ahead or back with a repetitive WHAT IF???...That if my life was more together, it would morph into a steady happiness. But, that kind of life would be mind numbing and ruinous. Wouldn't it?
Having a better life is not necessarily an easier life. More choices, more unknowns - more knowns and more expectations. To use walking as an analogy, I debate within myself whether having a destination is essential to our being. As I learn and grow on this path called life, I believe it is vital to have a destination that leads to another and another. The act of walking has opened me up in ways I had not imagined. And, with it has come the realization that the end goal can be to circle back home...