Last Sunday, I took my first neighborhood walk.  I’ve wanted to get out there ever since summer went away, but the excuses… oh the excuses.  Somehow, last Sunday, the bright sun and mild temperatures snuck past all the barriers.  I laced up my purple tennies, stuffed a collection bag in my pocket and went.

My creaky knee complained, but it always complains, so I kept a slow pace.  I sorta had to—my exercise regimen since moving to Muskogee boils down to Old Lady Yoga once a week and maybe a few pool laps once or twice a month.  My old rhythm is gone and a new one hasn’t presented itself, so I’m pushing when I can.  I want to enjoy this place, and getting outside this winter will move my pendulum in that direction.

Leaving Edmond Street, I took Kimberlea Drive.  Traveling east from my duplex toward the country club, the neighborhood perked up—larger homes, sturdier fences, dogs with holiday attire.  I wondered if I’d find enough refuse and biologicals to revive my Walk-About Journal. Is street trash in moderately upscale Muskogee different from a park in Des Moines or the woods near Toledo? This was my mission.

The neighborhood felt familiar—with a few exceptions.  I get this a lot—a sort of Twilight Zone slippage of the space-time continuum—Braums instead of Dairy Queen, Sooners instead of Hawkeyes.  I wonder what cultural cues I’m missing.  My cousin in Tulsa kindly informed me of the real meaning of “bless your heart” (which conveys nothing beatific).  The part of my brain that wrestled with Russian and Vietnamese keeps lighting up.  No wonder I’m so tired.

Once I made it to the golf course, I hobbled to a bench, stretched my grumbling back, and turned my face to the sun.  A whiff of breeze on the waterway, a rustle of fallen leaves. Oh, yeah.  This was the Reason for the Season—to be in a quiet place smelling of sky.  This would be worth the body moans to come.

On my way back, I reminded myself to be present, to notice more detail—the wheat color of the grass, the young couple walking toward me in shorts and tee-shirts, the beauty of a lost Christmas ornament.

And then home again, to be greeted by my Gateway Guardians—Fu Dog, who came with me from Minnesota, and Guillermo the Goat, a recent hire.  I love the entrance to my home, tucked in the back corner of the complex.  My Guardians and a glass bowl full of crystals and stones I’ve managed to keep over the years welcome me with color and meaning.

Inside, I unloaded my foraging finds into soapy water and dug out the appropriate journals.  Some of the biologicals would make nice additions to my little Zen of Mental Illness journal.  The other refuse waited until after Christmas.

As always, Christmas triggered my bipolarness.  It is one thing about this unpredictable condition that I can count on.

I cared for myself the best I could, then tried not to take the whole weepy/distorted thinking/exhaustion personally.  Distraction is key, so before I visited my therapist on Wednesday, I camped at my favorite coffee shop and made trash art gleaned from my walk.  It tickled me, and that’s always the first step back.  One foot after the other, continuing on The Adventure.

14 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kiki
    Dec 29, 2018 @ 11:10:53

    Sandy, you’re a strong woman, and I applaud you for this effort made – it turned out to be beautiful and you can now wear your halo with pride! Working with what we’ve got and the best we can is all that is asked from us. Wishing you strength, joy and patience!


  2. Littlesundog
    Dec 29, 2018 @ 12:13:08

    I love the photo of the lost Christmas ornament. Somehow it seems perfect in the grass… maybe it was never lost at all but escaping the confines of a place it didn’t belong. I collect a lot of treasures on hikes, like bones, feathers, owl pellets, wasp tissues, leaves and wood. Most of the time I photograph these treasures and leave them where they rest.


  3. Miss Kitty
    Dec 29, 2018 @ 13:21:21

    So what is the “real” meaning of “bless your heart”? I say that a lot and it actually has several meanings for me, so I’d be interested in what somebody else thinks it means. 🙂


  4. Kerri
    Dec 29, 2018 @ 18:03:29

    I know I’ve said this before, but I love this blog. I love the honesty and the reflection, and the attention paid to small scraps and small moments. I love that you share these bits of your life with us when you live so far away and i get to see you in person so rarely. Love you Cuz.


  5. Writer Lori
    Dec 30, 2018 @ 05:26:46

    Loved this walkabout, Sandy. A journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step…onward into the new year! May you go wrapped in good energy….


  6. Val Boyko
    Dec 30, 2018 @ 14:24:46

    One step forward and then an other. I appreciate your mindfulness 💛


  7. Live & Learn
    Jan 01, 2019 @ 02:35:57

    “This would be worth the body moans to come.” Loved this and your adventure walk. Happy New Year friend.


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