Tuesday, April 24

Day 115: The Gift of Walking

As I was cresting the top of Västerbron (the bridge between the islands of Kungsholmen and Södermalm) today on my way home from work, a man in a wheelchair flew past me heading downhill. Wow. I had just been thinking about how nice it was to walk home and enjoy the sunshine and seeing this man, who had obviously wheeled himself up the first half of the bridge by hand, pass me in his wheelchair, made me appreciate the gift of walking even more. The determination in this man to take his wheelchair across Västerbron, just as I did, greatly inspired me. Seeing others who do not have the option to walk makes me want to walk everywhere I go and fills me with gratitude to have this gift.

I noticed several people out and about in wheelchairs during the day. Seeing them reaffirms my gratefulness for my life and the many blessings I have. Perhaps that was another factor in my choice to walk home. That and the lovely sunshine and 50 degree temperatures. Practically swimming weather! There were so many people walking and riding their bikes across Västerbron, along with the inspiring man in the wheelchair, that there was nearly a traffic jam of pedestrians. I love that about Stockholm. Everyone loves to be outdoors. Everyone walks, rides their bike, or takes their wheelchair. 

Walking is an amazing gift that should never be taken for granted. It is not just a great form of exercise but it is the perfect medium for allowing us to explore the world. Walking as a form of transportation allows me to take in so much more of the world around me than when I take the bus and certainly when I take the subway. I am a great admirer of old architecture and with living in a city such as Stockholm, walking to and from places is like being in a wondrous, outdoor museum. Taking a walk always clears my mind and helps me feel more connected with nature. And it makes me happy.

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