on this beautiful path
“The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.”
– Thich Nhat Hanh
These are old photos I gathered together for Photo Friday last week, which had simplicity for its theme, but I never quite got them together for an actual Friday post, so here they are, a little late, offered up for Poetry Wednesday, with this beautiful quote. I realized this week that I am missing walking so much. Walking has not been a part of my life here very much so far, and I want to change that–very much– but it feels difficult to add it on somehow. The spaces of my days are all mostly already assigned, and, unaggressive, mildly unambitious person that I can sometimes be (these might also be code words for: lazy) I just have not pried open a spot for walking.
But how I love taking walks! I started writing something about a phase of my life at Notre Dame that involved walking the paths that looped around the two lakes on the university campus. After getting into the writing process I realized that it had the potential to be a polished essay with more time and effort, so I forego posting it here today, even though that was my original plan. But the theme makes me long for walking.
My children are too big now to be as portable on walks as they once were; too small to leave at home. My husband is in a particularly demanding phase of his career right now–being squeezed from all sides. And I now work every minute that Elsa is in school, so there is no more of that wonderful time-to-myself just lying around for the taking. We weathered a pretty bad stomach virus this past weekend. It happens every winter, but this one might be the worst I can remember. It began Friday night with the girls. I attended to one and Jeff to the other, and they were throwing up more or less relentlessly until about 4:00 in the morning. Then we had a reprieve until Sunday night when I started to feel sick and knew it was coming. I started to watch Downton Abbey, but could not even make it through halfway.
But all said, we keep on keeping on, and we are doing alright. And we had some excitement with my mother-in-law performing as a piano accompanist at the presidential inauguration in DC. We sat the girls down in front of C-span on Monday morning. Esme got bored quickly and wanted to watch cartoons instead and then when we finally did get a glimpse of Mimi Elsa burst into tears, and said, “I miss Mimi!!” She was not impressed with the fact that her Mimi was all the way in Washington DC and not right here in our living room, visiting her. As for me, other than dragging myself out of bed to see Mimi on television, I spent the entirety of Martin Luther King Jr. Day in bed, shivering and feeling miserable, until about 10:30 pm, when I suddenly felt almost-well and got up wandering around the dark house thinking it must be about morning.
All is a phase that we pass through. One day I hope to get back to walking again. And I hope to finish this essay thing about walking too.