Quiet morning, distant call of a lone bird, a pause…and then an answer. Low, almost imperceptible trill of insects hidden somewhere within the green, the staccato of a dog bark punctuating the silence. I sit in the breezeway soaking up solitude like the cats soak up the sun.
It’s been a whirlwind. First dealing with massive chronic fatigue, then a bolt of inspiration from the Tiananmen Vigil in D.C., and then upon returning home unending waves of transporting a budding artist to all the places she needs to go, and cleaning out my stuff, as well as the people who lived in this house before me. Two months flashed by like a flood in a blink of an eye.
And somehow, during this flurry of activity, I thought it was a good time to unlock the cellar, open a few closets. Or maybe, I was just getting so near the breaking point that I knew I needed help, would be wise to finally ask for it. This time, instead of bumping into things in the dark, I’m bringing a flashlight, inviting a therapist who understands to walk with me.
I’ve been avoiding writing. It trickled down from a flowing stream to a drippy faucet — my way of dragging my feet, covering my eyes with my fingers as I decide to open them. Writing brings me to me. For whatever communication ability I may have, writing reveals more to me about myself than anything I may tell another.
It’s always like this, but that’s okay. It’s how I walk my path. Whoever said you have to put one step in front of the other all the time? For me, it’s one, two steps forward, sometimes three back and then four ahead. Sometimes I skip and sometimes I shimmy. Sometimes I pace back and forth or run in circles or turn on a dime and retreat.
Sometimes my feet barely touch the ground. Other times I leave behind two large grooves where I was dragged resisting my own good. There are disturbed terrains in my path and circular patches of grass that grew up around me as I sat stubbornly in one place. But somehow…somehow I move ahead…looking ridiculous maybe or even, if I’m lucky, graceful. But it’s my walk.
What does yours look like? Do you race or crawl? Do you power walk or stroll or hop or even fly? Do you dig yourself in place or wander into the fields? Do you get lost or find your way back…or even start a new path with the careful and reckless placing of your own feet?
In whatever way you choose to travel, I hope at least a part of it, whether it’s evident at the moment or not, involves you walking with a sense of your own human dignity. If it doesn’t, then I hope you’re willing to entertain that idea, but most of all, I hope your walk is your own. So easy to give that away, but what a loss that would be.
Right now, my path, my walk is slow down and breathe.
So I’m enjoying the songs of nature, the singers, some of which, I’m sure, I would not be too thrilled at the sight of them crawling around in my house. But right now, the sound of them paints only scenes of peace in my heart. And I am so thirsty for this. My answer is a deep sigh, the release of lungs filled with clean morning air and a fullness of heart filled with the hope of possibilities.
I will pick myself up and walk again. But now, I will listen…and write…and breathe