You cannot know how exhilarating it is to be able to walk a trail, until you haven’t been able to for a while. I remember this feeling from when I had cancer. I never thought I would get to hike to a waterfall again. The first time I did after my treatment, I sat at the foot of the falls and wept. Since that time, I have been hiking like a crazy woman. Climbing mountains, finding waterfalls, circling lakes… whatever and wherever I can, I take off for adventure in the woods. Somehow, knowing that you never know made a huge impact on me. One day you can be healthy and the next you are not, and that realization gave me the motivation to move and breathe…to take it all in…often.
When I hurt my knee, I knew that if I stopped moving so would it. I hiked with a brace and a walking stick. Once I had surgery, I had no option to move, at least not like I had been. I had to give up what had become my lifeline. I knew it was for a season of time, but I find that nature invigorates me. I feel refreshed and restored when I get outside and hike. It is stress relief and quiet time to think, pray, worship, whatever I need. Not having that outlet, in combination with the pain of movement has not been good for me. I have felt claustrophobic, impatient, and all together out of sorts. Somehow, bending my knee at therapy is just not the same. (Sorry Pam)
Today, I couldn’t wait any longer. It was such a beautiful fall day, I just had to go. I shouldn’t have tried for the whole way, but I did. I shouldn’t have gone alone, but I did. I went to my old standby the lake trail. I determined to take it as slow as needed. I sat on just about every bench along the way. I stretched and rested. I took pictures to occupy myself from paying attention to the snail-slow pace. Ultimately, I allowed myself to feel the breeze on my face, the sun kissing my cheeks, and the luminous leaves raining down on me. I remembered to breathe in deep and to blow out stress. I soaked it all in until I smiled big…even while limping. There was no message today. Just a simple walk through the woods to remind me to keep moving and live fully…that was profound enough.