Still Walking…

Not having pretty fields to walk through or a lake to briskly hike around has deterred me from stretching my legs these past weeks.

Before going to California I was enjoying taking my fresh air through a nature preserve where the paths had been cemented by the City Parks and Rec Department.

The people I encountered were few, not many, and a friend of mine casually commented,

“You shouldn’t go on your own, there are all kinds of crazies on the prowl…”

I took heed since I don’t have a ferocious dog to accompany me.

I forewent the parklands and wooded paths constructed in the urban for those of us who remain rural at heart.


I tried a treadmill at the flats, where I now reside, and found I could lose myself quite well as I stared outside at the unchanging landscape and became transfixed by water trickling into a pool – a sound at once calming and uninviting on a cold, wintry day.

I felt confident, striding out on the mechanical pathway, that I wouldn’t unexpectedly vere off course, so I closed my eyes and retreated within.

Yoga has taught me that unexpected things happen when I withdraw… on my stationary mat at home or at church safely kneeling in a pew… but caution is to be advised on a moving sidewalk!

I began to turn inside and tune into my slowing breath.  I was thrilled at how deeply I dropped in…

…until I startled at the sound of the only other person in the room gasping loudly.

I snapped open my eyes and found myself at the back of the treadmill in danger of coming off completely!

My whole body had slowed down, not only my mind!

Next time I should hold on to the rails to keep my speed up…if there is a next time.

After a few weeks I had to walk outside again because I needed to feel the fresh air in my face.

I ventured along this path, off the main road running alongside our apartments.


After ten minutes


I saw a lone walker ahead and decided not to try my luck by overtaking him.  I turned back and made my way across the road,


I kept to the grass verges because drivers are the crazies here, unable to resist the lure of a wide open space they are oblivious to pedestrians.

I walked around the The Fitness Centre compound,


and watched people leaving after a workout and others arriving.

Parents shouted at their children darting into the dangerous car parks.  I was reminded of the High Street in London.

I walked through backlots and saw trees that have survived the concrete of a massive build out,


I passed restaurants with their delicious smells,

and saw birds gathering on the electrical wires overhead,


chattering loudly enough to compete with the traffic!

An hour walking around parking lots was a long time and I returned to the apartment complex where, in the gathering dusk, I was treated to alluring windows that drew me in to other lives.  The welcoming glow of lamps, a lit Christmas tree, a family at tea.

After a few rounds I grew tired of the cement and the cars and the residents began closing their curtains on the night and my spying.

I passed some grasses swaying in the breeze


and as I stood remembering my gate code I was reminded that nature, like God, abounds.

And I give thanks that I am able to walk!


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