Monday, April 11, 2011

Walking, A Metaphor for Life: Sometimes the Road Gets Muddy

One step at a time, uphill battle, moving forward, looking ahead, falling behind, walking the walk, navigating the peaks and valleys, stuck in a rut, finding balance, keeping the pace, it’s all downhill from here…my life, like my walks, contains all of these metaphors.

As of late, the path I walk has become precariously muddy. I suppose I could find some life circumstances to match if I delve a little.
Spring has burst forth. Her new rhythm pushes me off-kilter; she goads me to adjust my stride. I find the cycle of a new season brings with it many adjustments.

Truthfully, I can feel rather "Grinchy" about the prospect of cleaning up what mother nature mercifully covered up for a few blessed months. It’s like she laid a big ol' down comforter on top of things I was tired of looking at, and I got to take a long nap under it.

For those of us who worry about how things look, winter can be a welcome reprieve. I get to be alone in the woods on my winter walks. I joke with my friends that my long down parka doubles as a bathrobe and my sheepskin boots,  as slippers. But that’s what they feel like when I wear them to take my walks, and I feel secure in them. I have gotten in the habit of wearing just a tee and yoga pants underneath, no socks even, and I don’t even worry if my colors match. Ah, but now spring is hounding me to color coordinate again.

Winter didn’t make me lazy, though. I have hiked in the forest for hours at a time, often trudging through heavy, deep snow. Many days I ran. Sometimes it felt like if I just sprang up a little higher I would fly. There were times I was positive I was in a dream.

Now the paths are muddy and I can’t get my footing. I am wearing my clunky hiking boots, as opposed to my comfy sheepskin “slippers," sigh. Then yesterday, my dog got his first tick and I realized it was time to return to the streets for a while. No matter how hard I try to ignore it, change always comes around nudging me to look at things differently.

Today I returned to the streets to walk. My dog tried to a chase chipmunk and kept choking on his leash. I was surprised by how wide open the roads felt. I felt like things were different yet familiar, the warm air even had me reminiscing a little. It wasn’t so bad. Maybe I will try to run. I suppose I will need a fancy new pair of running shoes with some flashy colors, I have come out of hiding after all.