Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Very Long Walk...

This morning I walked.  I walked to the first bench along the trail that leads around a lake.  An older man was fishing and waved to me.  I waved back.  We were instant friends although a word wasn't exchanged. 

I sat quietly - I remember from my childhood it's very important to be quiet when people are fishing.  I sat quietly for about ten minutes and rested my foot and leg.  I stretched and I listened. 

I heard what I don't usually hear - layers upon layers of sounds.  I'm naturally hypersensitive to sounds.  I can hear my kids when they whisper - which drives them nuts.  If I were a superhero, supersonic hearing would be my super power.

When I quieted my mind, which had been singing Frere Jacques (the English version) as I walked to its very slow pace, I heard everything.  I heard the wind rush past my ears, the quacking of ducks, the splash of my new friend's line as he pulled it in and out of the water.  I heard the whirl of bicycles race along the path behind me, the flopping of running shoes, and the constant sound of thousands of crickets. 

Could those be crickets?  It was a constant chirping, so constant that I didn't hear it until I listened for it. 

I heard the chirping and tweeting of different kinds of birds, birds I couldn't see in the tall trees.  I heard the engine of an airplane before it appeared in the sky that was as blue as the Caribbean Sea. 

And then I walked some more, and more.  I stopped at every bench along the way to rest for about ten minutes each time.  All the while I walked at the pace of Frere Jacques, which would not leave my mind.  Maybe it was telling me to go home and sleep? 

Soon I found myself very close to the far end of the lake.  If I had my cell phone with me, I would have called my husband to come get me.  But I didn't, so I rested and walked slowly home.  I made another new friend of an elderly man who who lapped me twice and commented on my leisurely pace.  He walks five miles a day and was in better shape than many 40-year-olds I know.  When he heard my story, he seemed very worried for me.  But I was fine and still am, although I certainly overdid it a little.  We chatted for a while.  I hope I run into him again on my daily walks. 

When I got to the last bench where my fishing friend was, he waved and smiled.   I waved back.  I smiled at him but actually had been smiling the whole way.  I couldn't stop smiling even when people looked at me like maybe I should pick up the pace a bit.  My slow pace was a miracle, every step of it. 

I sat on the bench and stretched.  My foot was hurting a little, and I wasn't listening as intently any more to the sounds around me.  It was getting hot.  I heard the sound of a bike and turned to look. 

It was my bike with my husband on it.  He had come on a rescue with my toddler riding in the buggy behind him.  They were worried and brought me water. 

Apparently I had been gone for almost three hours. 

My best guess is that I walked two and a half miles in total.  By the time I got home, more than three hours had passed since I left the house. 

My right foot hurts, but not as much as it would have a month ago if I had simply walked down my street.  So I hurt, but I still smile.  My mind was not foggy on this walk - I felt like myself again except much happier. 

Now I nap until it's time to take more meds....


  1. Fantastic! I am so happy that the medication works for you. This is really great news Tonja! Excellent!

  2. I am happy that yhou are able to walk...... Keep up the good work....