Monday, May 14, 2012

WALKING – As If For the First Time

(This is the fourth post in my series of reflections, As If For the First Time, describing the most mundane of daily activities through a fresh lens, one of innocence and wonder.)

Gosh, my feet feel good today! How about yours? Are you conscious of your feet as you sit there?

I actually think about my feet quite often. I wonder what it is that allows those, the lowest tracts of flesh and bone on our bodies, to put up with such a beating, one that other parts would surely protest. Over and again, they bear the full weight of our being—not just physically, but sometimes, it seems, emotionally.

Such lightness of spirit makes each stride flow 
from the last like water down a gentle rapids.

But today I feel no such burden. Why is it that my lightness of spirit makes each stride flow from the last like water down a gentle rapids? That's the way my walking feels today: laughing, liquid, free.

I'm so glad I put on these wool socks. It's more than just their warmth; something about the way wool defies dampness that feels so snug. And the real miracle: if they were on my neck they'd itch; on my feet they don't.

Step by step, a glow starts in my feet and spreads up my calves and through my thighs. Like engine oil, it wicks in between moving parts, salving the friction, cooling the pain.

I'm aware of the complex mechanics of the walking motion. Something so automatic that I'm seldom more aware of it than of my breathing. I watch its workings as a boy watches a steam shovel, marveling at the coordination of so many complex movements—hip, to knee, to ankle, to toes.

I picture muscle and sinew grasping and pulling, tensing and pushing, sliding freely against one another in easy synchrony.

Then there's the matter of balance. How in the world can such a vertical creature go through such a range of motions—starting, stopping, jumping, leaning—and still manage to stay upright? I try to be aware of some of the constant adjustments hundreds of my muscles are making, but they're just too subtle.

What's left is a bright, spacious, inviting place 
for kinder thoughts to settle.

Like any meditation, my focus on the repetition pushes aside thoughts I'd planned to leave at home, but which still managed to stow away somehow: worries, deadlines, self-doubt. Step by step I imagine them nudged from my consciousness, dropping to the path and fading into the distance behind me. 


What's left is a bright, spacious, inviting place for kinder thoughts to settle. And they do . . . as if they'd been searching for it. They alight full of wisdom and certainty. I feel abundant.

Hope, joy, connection with all things and all times—sometimes it feels like my strides are the strokes of a pump, not just impelling blood and oxygen, but drawing in and circulating those ample thoughts. 

I sense that my consciousness is shared with 
land and sky, with water, trees and birds.

My thoughts move easily back and forth between soaring possibilities and Nature's constant reminders of my attachment to my body—and, by way of my happy feet, to the earth.

Today, at least while walking, I know myself body and my soul. I thank both for bringing me here to this place of awareness and gratitude. And I sense that my consciousness is shared with land and sky, with water, trees and birds. As sure as I celebrate them and this precious moment, they celebrate me.


Belinda said...

A truly beautiful post, Jeffrey. I feel like going for a nature walk after reading this thoughtful, joyful reflection so full of gratitude.

I've also wondered why my neck can't stand wool but my feet love it so!

Jeffrey Willius said...

Thanks for those kind words, Belinda! I hope you did get out for that walk!
I took a look at your blog -- very nice; I look forward to stopping by now and then.

Post a Comment

Thanks for visiting One Man's Wonder! I'd love to hear your comments on this post or my site in general.
And please stay in touch by clicking on "Subscribe" below.