It was unusually quiet and peaceful during my walk this morning. No lawnmowers. No traffic. Not even a barking dog. Either my neighbors were still in bed, already at work, or the rapture took place and left me behind.
As I always do when I’m outdoors I looked for critters. They must have been raptured, too, except for two fuzzy caterpillars and birds chattering back and forth from the trees. Maybe they were having church or gossiping or both.
Shuffling along, I’m not even halfway into my walk and my body is already whimpering, especially my back. It’s been out of whack ever since Bella, our greyhound mix jerked me off the deck. Several weeks later I was in the emergency room begging to be put me out of my misery.
Not many years ago I jogged the city streets, rain or shine; pounding the pavement, dodging cars, yapping dogs and guys trying to pick me up. Twenty years, twenty miles every single week.
Walking was too easy. I had to run. It was in my blood. I swore I’d never stop.
Then, I did.
I got stupid. I got bored. I lost my drive. I dove into the sea of wimpy excuses and drowned there.
Ten years and thirty pounds later, I tried to pick up where I left off.
I walk, now. At my pace, whatever that pace may be. I do what I can when I can without feeling the world depends on me to keep it spinning. No guilt. No shame . . . well, maybe just a little.
On the home stretch, I stopped and talked to the neighbor that lives across the road from us. She was walking her little Russel Terrier, the neighborhood-yapper.
She’s quiet-spoken with a shy little-girl personality and lots of southern charm. I admired her white hair peeking beneath her pink floppy hat and told her I was so happy that her cancer is in remission. We both said we’re ready to leave this earth but not right now because we don’t want to make our families sad. Cancer makes one think like that. Just getting old makes one think like that.
Though I enjoyed my thirty-minute walk I was relieved to get back home, pour a cup of coffee and plop into my favorite chair by the window.
That’s what old people do when they’re too tired to do anything else.