Today I took a walk. Took one yesterday, too. This is probably not remarkable, in that walking is something several billion of us on the planet do pretty much every day. In medical evaluation parlance it is known as a "major life activity."
However, I am not referring to moving from the stove to the refrigerator to the couch. (Kind of like the old Dodgers double-play combo of "Tinkers to Evans to Chance.") Or from the bookshelf to the recliner. I mean walking as in putting some distance between me and my house. Or as my Dad used to call it - "leg-bailing it." I refer to walking as a means of transportation and rumination.
It has been a long, wet spring here in Northern California and we are not complaining about it (well, not too much anyway) because the rest of the country has had it so much worse and because we are just coming out of several years of drought. We really needed the water.
Nevertheless, for some of us of a "certain age" it meant staying indoors a good bit longer than we generally do at the end of winter. Yes, I have a treadmill and I have been known to use it. At the moment, however, it is buried beneath the mountain of stuff the LOC* has not yet figured out how to shoe-horn back into his "office" since we re-did that room. To give him credit, he has managed to throw away two and a half boxes full of stuff; but they were shoe boxes, not moving crates, which is what the situation calls for, but I digress. (*Lovable Old Coot)
Because my treadmill has been inaccessible for the past month, and the weather has been unseasonably cold and wet, I haven't been keeping up with my walking schedule. Thus, yesterday and today were the initial efforts of the new walking-season; and I am feeling it.
You may have seen the TV commercial, "It is important to keep moving, but when it hurts to move that can be a challenge." It is a drug commercial and I hate those; but I have to admit that on this one they have a point. If you haven't walked any distance in awhile, and you are in my age range, it goes something like this; the first day you walk slowly, but relatively pain-free, just stiffly. The next day, you still walk slowly but now there is promise of pain-to-come; and by the third day, well, let's just say if you are still moving, it is at a snail's pace, and you are feeling each step in every cell in your body.
Other than that, it is lots of fun. It is why I do it. I have always been a walker. I do not hike, jog, or run...but, baby, I can walk.
After the winter's absence from the nearest park to our house, it was my first time around the park walkways, and the reality of our bankrupt state became apparent. The blossoming hawthorns had not been pruned in a 'coon's age, the sidewalks needed edging, and the water fountain no longer worked. In places the black plastic ground cover, used to keep the weeds from emerging, was visible underneath areas where the mulch has been blown away and it was cracked; and yes, the weeds were emerging.
Our newspapers have been full of budget cutbacks for months, particularly in areas such as parks maintenance, and today I could see the reality of those cuts up close and personal. It was sad.
Of course, they just "found" about six billion they didn't know they had. Looks like they might have been able to shell out a few shekels to spiff up this park; but then I think of all the teachers who have been laid off and I berate myself for my selfishness.
Money, or the lack thereof, it is a never-ending topic in so many areas of life. Solomon observed in Ecclesiastes 10:19 that "...money is the answer for everything." (NIV) But then I have to remind myself that this was his human observation; it is not sound theology and should not be taken out of context.
Even the Beatles had sense enough to know that you "Can't Buy Me Love" and they were not exactly towering intellectuals. As a counter-point, though, I seem to recall some country-western ditty which opined that while money might not buy you love, it could sure make your misery more comfortable. Well, there you are.
So I think I will stick to walking around my neighborhood for awhile, because most of us at least keep our sidewalks edged and a nice vista is necessary to my ruminations. Maybe I'll go back over there when the state budget-crisis gets solved, or when we get the new heaven and new earth. Between the two, as to which will come first, my money is on the latter.
Try taking a walk today. You'll feel better ... as long as you don't talk to yourself too much.