I promised myself that I would add one of these stories here every time I told one. I tell them at one point or another throughout the summer. There will be no chronology - not yet anyway - nor will there be much of a schedule. You never know; I might add a story every day and I might not. This is my life. Every day is an adventure.


Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Study in Patience

Walking. I bet you didn't even consider that walking might be a study in patience, did you? Well, it can be, especially this time of year, and more so this year. As the days are warm and the nights aren't so cold, the snow that once was a hard-packed trail, grows soft. Trouble is, they aren't the soft of new snow or even of mushy snow, easy to slosh through. The surface is uncertain; one step might be solid enough but the next one gives way. To preserve the integrity of your back, you need to be patient with every step. You need to be ready for every step to give way. Allow yourself to be pleased if it doesn't but don't trust that it won't until you have completely moved on to the next step - and the whole thing must be done all over again.

The best strategy is to take small steps, nearly heel to toe, not perfectly so but far shorter than a comfortable stride. Those of you ladies who like to sway your hips might find the necessary stiff back hard to accomplish, but it is a necessity. The step that gives way, seldom does so with any warning.

To add to the lesson in patience, and to reinforce the necessity of taking short careful steps, is the fact that the snow is still nearly knee deep. Not very deep, you say, but if your step suddenly plunges down and you are already throwing your weight into the next stride, you run the very real risk of leaving your knee behind stuck up in the hole your boot created while the surrounding solid surface didn't give way for the rest of your leg to move forward.

So, no matter how far you have to go, patience is key to keep your extremities in tact. Soon enough, when the snow is less deep, there will be an added dimension to the patience of walking.  At the moment, the only problem is that you break through and your step goes straight down. Likely by next week, not only will the foot go down at unexpected moments, it just might go sideways too, and any direction is game.

Oh, and I suppose I should mention, whenever I'm going somewhere out there, it's usually to carry something back, so I'm a pound or 3 or 5 or 10 heavier, depending on what I went to get. That means that just because some spots might have held me up on going one direction, doesn't mean that same spot will hold you up on the way back.

So, patience is walking - a necessity. Are you patient enough?


William Kendall said...

The snow's all gone here, but we do have that period in the spring as it's starting to go when you have to watch your step, because the next one could have you sprawled on the ground when you tramp through unstable stuff.

Anna L. Walls said...

Here that can last for a month or more. This year, it's been a month already and it looks like it'll last at least another couple weeks. A long lesson in patience.

Healing Morning said...

Patience - how's that one for a word to apply to the Theory of Relativity! I am sometimes a fan of the word, sometimes not. But as it applies to being mindful, I'm always up for slowing the process down and being conscious of each moment, each breath, each experience. In that context, it's fascinating how something mundane can translate into a state of meditative experience. :)

- Dawn

Anna L. Walls said...

Hahaha - All things are relative, even relativity.