Ponder this:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Walking

Flourish
Thanks to Hilary for naming this a Post Of The Week.
Flourish

I'm home until the sixteenth of the month, using up the last of my annually awarded three weeks of paid vacation. I had a respectable list of Chores That Take Time to accomplish during this time. I have done almost nothing that is on the list. I have, however, walked every morning, usually before dawn. The sun rises just before I reach the driveway on the trip home, when my ankles are weakening and twinging and my lower back is all nice and loose, and I have finally relaxed enough to stop holding my breath and I'm panting deeply. I come inside and take off sneakers and socks and I sweat for a little while before I shower just so I can pretend to be an athlete for a few minutes. A shower and then it's fresh shorts and tank top and my book on the porch until all my muscles relax and I get hungry. It's a wonderfully satisfying routine, and I would like to retire so I could make it my routine all year. My go to work mornings don't allow enough time for all that leisurely sweating, showering, sitting.

I thought that during my morning walks I would see wildlife everywhere, but I don't. No doubt I make so much noise that the animals are all long hidden before I am close enough to spy on them. I have seen one deer leaping across the road. The road is narrow and the deer was agile. It was one bound and gone. Rabbits stay immobile at the side of the road, trying for invisibility. Their nerve usually fails them at fifty feet, though, and they leap into the greenery. This morning one waited until I was nearly upon him, and hadn't seen him, before he bustled through the low-growing leaves. The sudden scuffling provided a shot of adrenalin to my heart. I keep forgetting to look for the snake Husband says is nearby. He says the snake must have just caught a frog and both are dead, run over by a vehicle, their corpses drying in the dirt road. The sight as I envision it offers a philosophical question: Is it preferable to have Death come just at that moment when a goal has been achieved, or is it even more of a loss to die without enjoying the satisfaction of the achievement? 

Along the seasonal road signs are posted: ROAD NOT MAINTAINED BETWEEN DECEMBER 1 AND APRIL 15 so that people won't plunge their vehicles into the midwinter snowdrifts. People still do that; Husband did a few years ago. But the town has discharged its responsibility and those who do get buried are on their own, stumbling back to the farmer at the end of the road to beg help via a tractor and a chain. Maybe because no snowplows go through there, debris has accumulated. This summer's additions include a navy blue tee shirt with a Ford emblem on the chest that hangs on the branches of a wild shrub, as if somebody got too hot and hung out his laundry to dry without benefit of washing first. Farther along, a thick blue tarp with lots and lots of white block printing on it. Warnings, printed in four languages, to avoid this and that. It appears to me that such tarps, intended for tying over haybales, have been used at one time or another as trampolines, causing the manufacturer's insurer to require a warning of "NO JUMPING." It is repeated in Spanish and French, and in German: "NICHT SPRINGEN." That makes me smile. Springen sounds like something elves might do, and so much more fun than jumping. And Nicht Springen! sounds like a kindly old Santa Clause-y figure admonishing apple-cheeked children to go straight to sleep and nicht springen on their quilt-covered featherbeds. 

21 comments:

English Rider said...

This post is a treat. So many interesting thoughts that have bubbled up to the surface.

Barb said...

Now you know what my life is like! Glad you're still walking (and sweating). Enjoy your vacation - the chores can wait.

Eileen said...

I'm envious not only of your holidays but of the lovely place you have to walk.

I agree with Barb, the chores can wait!

Enjoy.

Terra said...

Your walking routine predawn sounds just right for you, and then the shower, food and a book. A good retirement plan.

Pauline said...

I hope you enjoy the rest of your vacation - those early morning walks sound like the perfect holiday activity. There's something wrong about a To Do list when you are meant to be refreshing your body and soul for the year ahead.

Rose ~ from Oz said...

Can't 3 weeks fly by so quickly! Enjoy your last few days - a little more leisurely sweating, showering and sitting to be accomplished yet!
Don't you just love the solitude during that pre-dawn time...

Rebecca said...

I do enough sitting and SHOULD do a bit more sweating and showering.

Sounds you've established a nice routine on your vacation. Too bad it can't continue.

You DO have a "wicked wit"! It makes for interesting reading...

DJan said...

I loved this piece. It took me right out there with you. And your wonderful walks early in the morning before dawn sound so delightful. I also wish you could retire and do this all the time! Thanks for sharing...

esbboston said...

German can be a perplexing yet very entertaining language. I have come to realize and seek the entertainment value of difficult and or negative things and events. Age?

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

You make it all sound wonderful !The glow of virtue might be tempting ... were I not as lazy as sin .

#1Nana said...

Good for you. I wish i was committed enough to rise early and walk every morning. Since i retired I keep telling myself that I need to start walking or riding my bike...so three years into retirement I'm still not doing it!

Anonymous said...

The only heat and sunshine we ever get in this area of the USA is here, sweltering hot and humid, makes my remaining kitteh cats so hot they want to tear their fur off their bodies, one is a long haired boy, I wash him up before I go to work, my hubby one time during the day and at nighttime he lays on a bed with the fans going blasting..I wash him again, our other girl just lazes around she cannot seem to get moving, i make sure there is lots of water for her and she can get to it and any food she might want, for us humane beings, we get pizza and I make food at 5 am and we eat it cold, don't have much strength to do much when I finally arrive home, the weather people say one more week of heat and that is it caput in the pacific northwest, seattle is already getting ready for ski season and cold weather ads in the seattle times, showing sweaters, it is always cool up there when it gets hot up there people feel like crap, or throwing themselves in the lakes that adorn the city or to think of jumping into Elliott bay, it never gets that hot..I have read your blog, I would probably die back where you are I can only take so much of heat and humidity and would have to move, could not take all those many days of heat..>You do get snow so I would love that but you gotta a lot of heat and humidity and I would hate that! love your blog!!!!!!!!!

Hilary said...

I feel as if I hitched a ride inside your head... internal volume turned way up. Enjoy the rest of your vacation time at least as much as I enjoyed this.

Tom Sightings said...

They say swimming is the best exercise, but I think walking is. A better view, and you can't drown.

Linda Myers said...

We now have an exercise class three days a week and a swimming class two days a week. From 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. Good to get the exercise out of the way early in the day. I'm always glad.

Friko said...

Pre-dawn walks are obviously good for a spot of meditation too.

rachel said...

Ah, the philosophy of road kill.....

To Do lists are great, and offer a real feeling of achievement. No need to do more. Once you've written one, put it away and revisit it in a year - makes for interesting reading!

Vicki Lane said...

Love this post! What a nice routine! And 'nicht springen' is a wonderful discovery.

Tabor said...

Congrats on your POTW. You will have this time when you retire and you actually will crave a little variety after many months. The animals are more active after you go back to work.

Daryl said...

Hope you had a wonderful time .. congrats on your POTW

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Enjoyable read well deserving of POTW. Congrats!