The path requires nothing of me except that I walk. Oh, and that I am alert – I don’t want to step on a crack and break my mother’s back or be run into by skaters or bike riders or the occasional dog.
Walking does not make demands like my house – whose floors could use sweeping and dishes need washing. It is not a shirt that requires ironing (yes…I still iron, Cheryl). It is not a phone to be answered for a conversation that will take some time and, if nothing else, interrupts what was going on before it started ringing (unless I leave it to the answering machine where it will still wait and call out to me until I’ve listened).
It is not a plant that needs pruning or a stomach growling for sustenance (”feed me!”)
It is not a husband desiring attention or a friend needing someone to listen for just a little bit.
It is not the computer tempting with a vortex of words, ideas, information, ads, jokes, prayers, chain letters, cards, e letters, emails or solicitations.
It is not bills looking for payment or projects requiring memos, reports, or organizing.
The path is simply this: put one foot in front of the other and traverse for minutes or hours. up hills or on flat terrain, around the bend or in a straight line, on grass or dirt or sand or asphalt or concrete, with companions or in solitude shared with the fellowship of strangers similarly occupied.
Walking makes me feel better. Walking keeps me able to walk. Walking subdues aches and pain. Walking is action.
Walking the path brings peace.