In Western N.Y. we are both proud of surviving our Winters as well as the extravagance in our complaints of the same Winter. Now that it is Spring, I hear complaints of the daily rains and whether the sun will ever shine once again.
Today the sun did shine while I walked to work after a dank start to the day. It was magical to see the buds of trees bursting through their encasements as though they too needed relief from the dampness. People appeared happy . The worms wriggled back to the dirt.
On days like this I enjoy slipping into my husband’s rain slicker. My husband, Mr. Wonderful, smiles knowing I would enjoy the walk wet or dry. He knows I use his slicker as an excuse to kiss him just one more time before we go our separate ways for the work day.
When you get a text asking if you want to walk her home from school, you drop everything and say, “yes!”
It was chilly yet sunny.
She smiled and laughed with me.
She talked of a boy.
I just listened.
The wind was slightly louder than her. Her giggle enhanced her smile.
The crossing guard recognized her and told me she was a nice girl.
It made me proud.
I could not help but wonder how long it would be before she would ask me to walk her home again.
It was a special twenty minutes in a lifetime of special moments with her that she is entirely unaware. At least until one day when her daughter asks her to walk her home.
I have walked for exercise.
I have traveled on foot out of necessity.
I have strolled on a date.
I have marched down a grassy slope of lawn to share a kiss with the groom on my wedding day.
I have even done laps in a maternity ward to get through early stages of labor.
Not once have I ever walked to fill my lungs with cold, clean air.
Not once have I ever escaped on foot to evade someone see me cry.
Not once have I ever hightailed it from somewhere that should be safe.
Not once have I ever did an about-face and follow the cadence to some place other than the reality of my thoughts…until today.
Today, I looked into the eyes of a stranger. I looked in the mirror at my own visage and knew I needed to walk away from me. I just needed a little while to listen to music, imagine that the pain in my chest was not there, imagine that the phone call I would receive in two to four days would be that I do not have cancer, and have no one witness the frailty I felt.
I walked to recover my self. I walked to find the me before the lump was discovered. As I walked further, the closer I was to my self.
My true self was there at the end of my journey to hold me, care for me, reassure me, and be the support I needed.