I lost my sole while out walking

October 21, 2011: I walked at length today near my new home, and though I lost my sole; I think I found at least a piece of my true soul. There are times when I walk; when the sun is shining and the temperature is perfect; that something like joy overtakes me. Have you had those excruciatingly wondrous times?  I hope so.  Occasionally it happens when I am playing the piano.  I call that playing in the spirit.  A few times, this same joy has overwhelmed me while out walking.  I like to think of it as walking with God. 

God is my absolute all time favorite walking partner. We can walk for miles and never say a word,

When I go out walking with God, he does not use the time together to scold me; to tell me what I should do.  In fact, he does not try to influence me in any way, except through gifts of good things and beauty. He doesn’t control me. No matter how fast or slow, or how long I walk, he simply bathes and restores me with nature and beauty.

I come back thinking, “I want to do this every day.”

When Debris Becomes Life

I love to walk. I loved to walk on the beach when I lived in Edmonds, Washington last year.

As I walked on the beach at low tide, I would see interesting debris; things the tide had washed in and then left stranded on the sand or rocks. Besides the usual crabs and kelp, there were empty soda bottles, food containers. Those didn’t stay long.  Either the tide washed them back out, or community minded folk who have adopted the beach strolled by and picked them up, delivering them to the proper recycle receptacle.

There are other relics on the beach; random poles not seen at high tide, remnants of piers and docks that used to be, which are no longer serviceable as anything but roosts for eagles and momentary resting places for seagulls.

From time to time, I saw some rubber gasket like things, about eight inches in diameter.  These were strewn randomly, sometimes caught between two well worn rocks, or half buried in sand.

There is an upscale marina located in the area, I took these halved donuts to be bits of boat or dock protective bumper apparatus.  How careless, thought I, in an otherwise well maintained marina and port; these things are not collected and recycled or tossed. A few times, I thought of asking someone, but just never got around to it.  

Early in July, I was able to attach myself to a noon hour, ranger guided tour of the beach at very low tide. It was here I learned that the supposed gaskets I had been observing were actually egg cases for the Moon Snail. When the Ranger told us this, I thought she was joking; pulling a seaside equivalent of a snipe hunt on us; particularly me, a born and bred inlander, newly arrived at the sea. Further research proved this to be a bonafide bit of marine biology information.

And now, I cannot help but wonder, how many things have happened in my life that I have considered debris, trash; that were actually life giving? How many jobs, friendships, or challenges have I tossed and recycled before they were hatched? How many times have I said, “God, you must be joking!”  When I was staring at a golden opportunity?

All in a day’s walk

How could I have known this morning when I sallied forth for a fairly routine walk, that it would turn into a 2 1/2 hour adventure down Holey Bucket Trail, connecting to Holy Cross, finally meeting up with the familiar Prenup, and then a two mile walk down Little Park Road to my house? The day was sunny and inviting and the walk could only have been made more delightful by the addition of my water bottle, which I inadvertently left setting on the table at home. I discovered this omission half a mile into my walk, but was not too troubled, since it is fall not blistering summer, and I did not plan to be gone for long.

Despite the recent cold snap, the sun seemed warm, so I risked striking out in my hoodie and gloves. Besides being black, the best thing about my hoodie is the pockets. In them are stowed the ubiquitous cell phone, house keys, and camera.

I made the choice, a few thousand feet into Holey Bucket, to keep moving forward; to see new trail. By the time I reached the juncture of Holey Bucket and Holy Cross, I mistakenly calculated that it was a shorter route to go forward, than to retrace my steps. I have hiked to Holy Cross before, via other trails, but apparently never this section. A mile or so into Holy Cross, I encountered snow; but before the trail met with Prenup, I had doffed my hoodie and tied it around my waist. Soon, I was rolling up my pant legs.

The day was absolutely gorgeous! Who knew that Holy Cross Trail actually boasts a cross? I didn’t. I have yet to see a bucket on Holey Bucket, though I have seen the clunker at the bottom of Clunker Trail. I supposed the name had to do with the shape of the trail as viewed from above; that, and the fact that it is a few miles north of Widow Maker and Prenup, is posted as rugged terrain, and that any biker taking the chance to look up, and not keep his eyes on the trail, would see that his nose was pointed directly toward St. Mary’s Hospital. Accordingly, he would involuntarily shout something like, “Holy Cross, Batman, I’m about to meet my maker!”

Speaking of meeting your maker, I do think I come quite a bit closer to knowing the Maker, and the purpose for which I am made when I spend a good deal of time walking. Many things become clear, centered. Much can be resolved, by simply putting one foot in front of the other and getting a fair amount of extra oxygen into my bloodstream