Sometimes life gets too big for me and I have to take a break from it all. I can completely relate to the part of Forest Gump where Forest starts running and he ends up going back and forth from the east coast to the west. People were trying to figure out the meaning of it, what he was trying to say, and there was really nothing, just the need to run. I am too fat to run but the need to walk works nicely.
When my ex and I lived in Germany, every weekend possible we went on a Volksmarch (People walk). Many towns sponsored these walks throughout the year and they were relaxing and fun. Normally they were 10 or 20 kilometers and we would usually do the 10K. At the end you received a “prize” for completion and then there was a big celebration festival. There was always beer and bratwurst, more depending on the town that sponsored it, and an Om Pa band. It was normal for other guys from the barracks to come with us and we would make a day of it.
I decided this morning to go on my own Volksmarch around the area where I live. It was time to step away from all the distractions and just be still with God and let my mind go where it needed to go. I had a route in mind and told John my plan so if I didn’t show up he would at least know where to start looking.
I left the house at 8:30; it was still peaceful, the neighbors taking advantage of a long weekend. As I walked it took me a few minutes to settle my mind and just be in the moment. Once I got out of the familiar territory of my neighborhood, I started to take notice of the newness around me. You can drive down a road a million times but to really feel it, walking is best. The power lines, or telephone lines, whichever they are, had a long string of black birds chatting to each other. The oh-oh sounds announcing me as an intruder to their world. The smell of the freshly mowed grass, probably from yesterday, was pleasant. The air was not full of the July Florida humidity yet, it was overcast and a light breeze felt nice on my skin.
Probably around the 2nd mile the hills of the area came into play. These are Florida hills, not much to you mountainous folks but a lot to us. I am starting to breathe harder but keep focusing on the surroundings instead of the exercise. Other birds are singing, I can’t see them hidden in the trees but their songs are beautiful. I am passing through a more affluent area now and the landscaping is much richer. Everywhere is color, mostly pinks and purples of all shades. I stop to smell a crepe myrtle, not sure if it has a scent or not, it didn’t. I guess its beauty is all it needs. There are tons of white and pink oleanders and a very dark pink that I have never seen before. A little further down the road is a border full of hibiscus and bottle brush plants mixed together. The pinks and oranges are beautiful together. It is not a combination I would have thought to use, but will certainly consider it for the future.
Somewhere around mile 3 or so traffic is starting. An occasional intrusion of a loud car radio breaks the peace. The garage sale signs are going up and people are out looking for their used treasures. Dogs are running the perimeter of their properties, barking away. Some cheerfully greeting me and some reminding me I am a stranger. Good dog!
John calls to see if I am ok, how far have I gone? He is worried about me and I feel bad for that. I am fine. I forgot to ask him to turn the hot tub on so I call him back. I can already tell I am going to need a good soak when I get home. Something else I think of, I need new underwear. Funny, where did that thought come from?
I pass by a small lake, bigger than a pond, and look over the protective barrier and see tons of lily pads. Some have flowers on them. Do lily pads bloom? Why don’t I know that? They were lovely. I can see the lake is shallow and people have thrown their trash over the barrier into the water, sadly, it spoils the natural beauty.
I am coming to the park now, getting close to the end of my journey. I love how the bougainvillea spill over the wall and pepper the common areas with bright pink flowers. They are gorgeous and have very long thorns. I don’t care, their beauty is worth it. People are already claiming their areas at the park, getting the tables they want near the grills, those always go first. The park will be full today.
The sun is breaking through the clouds now and it is getting warmer, still the light breeze and thankfully the humidity has not appeared. As I re-enter my neighborhood, I come back to the real world. This house is for rent again, that house needs to mow their lawn, looks like this house is empty. Wonder if it is another foreclosure coming.
I don’t know how far I actually walked, probably around five miles. I was home at 10:00 so it took me an hour and a half. Five miles seems about right. I am tired, but in a good way. My body knows it did something different today. I didn’t solve any problems but I did take time to really see and feel God’s beauty this morning. And maybe that was enough. Just for today.