Until I wrenched my back recently, I admit I took walking for granted.
Every few years, I bend in a wonky way and my back yells no! It started years ago when I was a camp counselor and a young camper excitedly jumped on my back. Oops. Rest and warmth is the prescription and luckily I’m on my feet again in a few hours.
This time, lying flat on a heating pad, I noticed how quickly my back was feeling better. My body was stationary but my perspective shifted. Frankly, it shifted mostly to the ceiling at first! As I rested, I focused on the healing occurring without my conscious intervention. It was incredible to suddenly recognize that my back takes care of itself with just a little TLC on my part. Sound silly? Maybe. But there’s more.
I became conscious of how I bend and began growing more respectful of the way I move. I began wondering what else I wasn’t acknowledging in everyday life. I made an effort to begin noting and appreciating things I take for granted. Like eyesight. Paying close attention to this one sense was an interesting experience. Things I saw every day acquired added dimensions of meaning and value. At night, looking up at the sky, I felt the enormity of space extending endlessly and how small I am in relation to it. Of course, my kids would say I’m small in relation to just about anything but that’s another story.
Going out for daily walks, I quickly reverted to my habit of ignoring the joy of walking without discomfort. I remind myself now to pay attention to and honor the seemingly mundane which isn’t really mundane. It’s all pretty amazing when I stop long enough to appreciate what my body does, one image and one step at a time.