July 20, 2022
95 degrees and rising. It’s a July, sweltering hot day.
I just finished at a doctor’s appointment- routine follow-up after some chest pain a few weeks ago- not heart related apparently, just pulled something between my ribs when picking up my nephew.
But on this Weds morning, I realized I was near a special place. I had been missing my parents lately. Their anniversaries were coming, plus my nephew had just had his second birthday- and family parties sometimes just make me wish they were there.
I pulled up to the reservation- an 8-mile, shaded and paved all-purpose path. A few joggers were starting at 10am, some speed walking partners were finishing, and a handful of cyclists were sharing the space.
I needed this. I needed time to feel human, to miss my parents and especially my dad who would take me here as a kid, putting our bikes on the back of our station wagon and driving 15 minutes to this haven.
Sometimes, I feel like time is consuming me, more than I am just living, breathing and being in the world. I get so caught up with the doing, purposing, and efforting of life. Before I made this 5 minute detour after my doctor’s appointment, I was chastising myself for not immediately heading home to some tasks for work that will soon be forgotten about, replaced by another equally important task. But honestly, nothing else pulled me more than this paved, shaded path.
Nothing earth-shattering happened on my 20-minute stroll. No spiritual revelation or cleansing sob. I was distracted by my thoughts and my phone a few times, but mostly I just walked. And breathed.
And that was important. More important than getting back to my home office, 20 minutes earlier than I did.
Trust me, I’m a person of integrity and the hours will balance out. But it’s not a day-by-day or hour-by-hour balance. It’s bigger than that. Because so is my life.