Count down to Thanksgiving

by tamarjacobson

I couldn't help but think about gratitude on my morning walk, with the crisp autumnal air, wind blowing burnt orange, amber, red, burgundy, and brownish fall leaves across and around me, forming piles along the way and even under my feet. I strode out with feelings of confidence and strength the likes of which I haven't experienced in awhile. Was that my aging back straightening up and out towards the cloudy sky? Each song that came up on my iPhone, through the earphones and into my brain seemed picked out by some cosmic force, now soothing and rocking, and then energizing my every step, as my body swayed and tilted in time, in tune.

Returning to an old tradition of counting down to Thanksgiving, and first on my list is walking. Slow or fast walking. Sauntering or striding out. Walking up hill, walking through woods, or around them. Waking up longing to walk, or not feeling like it but doing it anyway. Gazing at the sun shining through the tops of leafless trees, while I walk. Thinking and feeling thoughts and feelings that bring tears to my eyes, or that make me laugh out loud while I walk. Listening to music, or hearing songbirds in the spring. Walking with purpose, or straggling along with sore ankle, back or hip. Greeting walkers while I walk. Observing dogs and owners walking obediently, joyously, or grumpily. Feeling the cold to the tips of my fingers. So cold that I clutch the inside of my sleeve to warm them from the chilled air, as I walk. Shedding garments as I heat up feeling stronger and more confident all the while. Peaceful and happy on my return, or deep in thought, humming a tune, or wiping away tears. Homecoming from my walk and the day opens out  before me, clear-headed, blood pumping in my veins, and breath is even. Stretching out those muscles, breathing in and out.

Today I am grateful that I can walk.