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....