March 17, 2009:
Sunday night I was finally able to go for a walk. It was almost surreal! I tied on my tennis shoes and walked down the slushy driveway and stepped out onto the pavement of the road for the first time in months. I walked up past the maple trees to the end of the road and turned toward B&R’s house. The sun was at my back and I watched my shadow walk in front of me as I went, tendrils of hair swirling around me in the warm breeze. I turned around at the end of our field and retraced my steps back to the corner, taking deep breaths as I went. I crossed back in front of our house and down the dip to the river. I was in such a nice rhythm I didn’t stop on the first bridge and almost didn’t stop on the second. But the pause there at the river is the highlight of my walks. It is the sound of the rushing water, tumbling over the rocks, sweeping along the branches leaning their arms down to get a drink, the whisper in the woods.
Eventually I pulled myself away and finished walking up to the stop sign and turned around again. Back over the bridges I went, this time drinking in the smell of the evergreens on the island. It’s like heaven to me. It reaches way down into my soul and touches the old, good memories of childhood in me and reminds me of times and things I haven’t thought of in a long time. It reminds me of pieces of myself I’ve forgotten.
As I drew closer to my own driveway again I stopped suddenly at the edge of my yard as 5 gorgeous fat robins fluttered up into the branches of the walnut tree. I watched them for a while and waiting until they were comfortable enough with me to return to their hunt for edibles on the big patches of bare ground now visible. It was a happy sight, and the walk was, in a word, restorative.