Thursday, April 5

Day 96: Walking

Something very easily taken for granted is the ability to walk. For most of us it is something that we don't even think twice about. And yet for some it is a dream or desire never to be realized, or an ability snatched away in a flash after a horrible accident, an illness or just the natural process of aging.

My father has suffered from osteoarthritis since he was in his forties, which is my age now. He has had six hip-replacement operations over the years and, at eighty years old today, he still suffers from pain and has a difficult time walking and getting around. Sometimes I feel sad for him but then I see a person who is wheelchair bound and I think perhaps he is lucky that he can still get around on his own however difficult or slow going it is.

It is all in ones perspective. My dad is a pretty, positive person. He doesn't let anything stop him if he can help it. He and my mother came to Stockholm to visit last summer and we took them around by bus, subway and even a bit of walking. I think he probably experienced some pain though he did not let it stop him. He must have enjoyed the experience despite the discomfort because we offered to get a taxi several times and he refused it. It can be fun to get around on foot and via public transportation.

Walking is more than a mode of transportation, however. I like to walk sometimes just to clear my head and I have heard it said that angels speak to a person when they are out walking. I think it is true. I often return home after a long walk feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. We started watching a new TV series recently that is set in the fifties and in one of the episodes a new neighbor, who happens to be a divorced woman with two children, is seen out walking and all of the other women think it is strange. When given the opportunity they ask her where she is walking to and she replies that she is just out walking. She is probably listening for angels.

Me, I love to walk. It is a wonderful thing too since I live in a walking city. When we first moved to Stockholm I walked around quite a bit, exploring new neighborhoods or areas each day. I became acquainted with the streets this way and discovered some lovely, hidden treasures that tucked away in areas we never would have found otherwise. And many of these found treasures are now some of our favorite haunts.

Walking is one of the best gifts I have. I feel very thankful and blessed to be able to walk and experience my world on foot. Some days when I see an adult or a child in a wheelchair, I thank God that I can walk and I remember that is is a privilege that should not be taken for granted. I challenge all of my readers to do a little extra walking today in honor of someone who cannot.

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