I love to walk outside…but I am an absolute wimp when it comes to cold weather. Therefore, the majority of my exercise during the winter months occurs on a treadmill in the basement of my home. Since the basement doesn’t provide much to feast upon for my senses of sight, hearing and smell, I have a television hooked up to a DVD player so I can watch old sit-coms to pass the time of my exercise. Needless to say, the treadmill walks are a tad less meditative than those I’m able to take outside.
This past Saturday afternoon, the weather provided an opportunity to take a walk outside. As I started out, I hoped the predicted rain would hold off so I could get my two miles in without getting wet. Once I turned the first corner, I didn’t care if it rained or not. I was overwhelmed with emotion as I felt my body respond to the outside world. My feet and legs felt the path of earth below and were infused with new energy. My ears heard the tweetings and coos of birds galore and I could feel them smiling – that’s right, my ears were smiling! My nose smelled wet dirt and warm air, and took in as much of it as my lungs could handle. And my eyes watched as squirrels scampered about, and those tweeting birds floated through the air, passing branches that were filled with tiny buds of hope.
As I moved along my normal walking path, my gratitude welled up for those things that I too often take for granted: I can walk; I can see; I can hear; I can smell. My body continues to serve me so well, even after so many years of abusing it with food, alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and excessive exercise. It has bounced back from foot surgery, skin removal surgery, and a double mastectomy. It has offered me the ability to take care of myself and others almost every day of my life. And most importantly, it has accepted the shift to healthy living – heck, it has embraced the shift to healthy living by providing levels of energy I never knew were possible.
I share all this today because I am amazed by how overwhelmed with gratitude I became during this recent walk. I have chosen to follow the direction of others and I write out a list of five things I am grateful for every day. So, why did I feel so overwhelmed with gratitude during a two mile walk outside on Saturday? Perhaps the daily trudge of life detaches me from my gratitude, even as I write it out on paper. Maybe that is why seasons change – to snap us out of our trudge, if only for a moment. Or maybe that question is something for which I may never find an answer. So many of the things that occur in my heart are mysteriously poignant and I just need to rub them in and move on.
For today, I pray to remember to look to my Creator every single day of my life and simply say: THANK YOU!
This is beautiful, Jessica. Congratulations on your book!! I haven’t read it yet; but I hope to soon.
Easy Does It,