Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Why Do I Walk?

I first walked in 1957. I guess I'd just grown tired of crawling and from all indications I took to it right away and never looked back. Apparently, once you've experienced vertical movement the need for knee to palm, knee to palm, loses it's attraction.

A few months ago I started to walk again. I didn't start walking as a means of transportation or as a form of exercise. I wasn't walking to get somewhere or to get away from somewhere else. I wasn't walking because there was something to gain from walking like good health or something to lose like excess weight.

I walked to walk. I walked because I could walk.

I had just come through a painful time in life (excruciatingly painful but I digress), when all my best efforts were unable to bring any positive change to circumstances unraveling around me. I couldn't make people behave honorably or compassionately. I was powerless to bring truth to the untruth being spoken. I had no ability to move institutions toward justice.

One morning I put on a pair of comfy shoes and walked through my front door into a sunny day. I walked around the neighborhood and then walked back home. The next day I took a different road and walked a little further. Before long walking had become the most important time in my day. I could decide the direction I would walk. I could control how far I would walk, how long I would walk, how fast I would walk. Walking was something I could do, and so I did. I walked.

And as I walked I came to realize that walking is one of the truest metaphors for what it is to understand life as a journey and a life of faith as traveling a spiritual path. Walking is a great teacher and I'm an eager student. That's why I walk. To learn. To grow. To heal.

And if I lose a few pounds along the way, who am I to complain?

No comments: