Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Hard Way

Today's HAWMC prompt: Write about a lesson you learned the hard way.

The lesson I learned: Walking is awesome. The carefully coordinated choreography of muscles, tendons, bones, joints. Like magic, step after step, no thought or effort required. It's a joyful, beautiful, soulful act.

As a baby/toddler, the transition to walking was a scary one for me. I just couldn't quite trust it, so I would only walk while pushing around my little green and yellow shopping cart. Eventually, though, I left the cart behind and found my stride. Walking...even running....full speed ahead! It was no longer an issue - just a tool that was there, ready to be called upon at any moment. And a humble tool, never making an issue over the miracle that it was.

So for 24 years, I walked, completely unaware of the awesomeness contained in every step. But then MS stepped in and taught me the lesson the hard way. 

So, now I know. Walking is awesome. I'm lucky in that the gift - the miracle, the magic - that is walking was returned to me after an on-again-off-again year of major walking challenges. Now, most days, I can walk without conscious thought or effort. But I have learned my lesson, and I now acknowledge and treasure my steps through the world.

My dear friends, walking is awesome. If you are able to walk, please join me in celebrating this lesson. As you walk through your life today, please take a moment to really think through the magic that every step is. Pause to acknowledge the blessing it is to be able to walk without having to think through every part of the movement, without straining with effort to move your body from place to place. To think only of wanting to go from here to there and your body following through - it's delicious, isn't it? Try not to take it for granted.

I also recommend reading Kate Wolfe-Jenson's wonderful poem, The Magic of Motion. It captures this "lesson" perfectly.

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