The therapeutic attributes to walking or running are not new. This I know. However, I'd like to share this from a different perspective. I do not mean to capitalize on the fact that I'm visually impaired, but it's essential to what I'm about to relate. For the record, I have sight in neither eye. I have some usable vision in my right eye, but its usefulness in navigation is dependent on the amount of sunlight and the environment I'm traveling in. I can see contrast in color and that should be enough to get me through. So, let's let you, the reader, shadow me as I go.
I'm probably wearing an ankle-length skirt and sturdy shoes, and am carrying my long cane. Just like any other person, my mp3 player is around my neck, but there are no earbuds in my ears. I have to hear what's going on, you see. I walk along, using the wooden edging of what I guess to be a flowerbed as my guide, then turn left and begin to cautiously travel along a street.
It's fairly quiet, and whenever a vehicle is coming my way I simply step to the side and let it go by. There are dogs barking, children screaming, aircraft (both military and civilian) going over, but I've learned to tune out these distractions. I close my empathic self in a bubble so I don't become overwhelmed. I walk up to the busiest road. I think it's a highway, but I can't be sure. Traffic stops; well, to be more precise, there isn't any, and I hastily cross. Once safely on the other side, I find the gutter and begin a steady tread.
I take a deep breath of the somewhat clean fresh air. It's just rained, so the air is moist with the evaporating water. I keep going. I go around parked cars, trash cans, and tree limbs, always coming back to the gutter. And I begin to reflect.
Why am I here, struggling to find physical help to get my rent from checking account to landlord's hand? Why am I having such trouble with food? Is it pride? I can't find a job. $deity knows the sighted people have trouble. Breathe, think, cleanse. Each step leaves behind a well of pent-up pain things that I've repressed and suppressed for far too long.
A street. It's a small side street, and beyond it I can clearly hear the humming of an underground cable. AT&T's, apparently. I cross and press on.
At the end of my route is a telephone pole and against it I lean for support whilst briefly continuing to mull over things that would give me gray hair by the time I'm 25. I pause for a moment, quieting my inner voice, and take in the weather. Birds are singing their sweet melodies, intertwining in an eternal song of weaving.
On the same wheel we spin,
out of life and in again,
One to many, many to one,
brewing in Her cauldron.
Her name cannot be spoken,
her face was not forgotten,
Her power is to open,
her promise can never be broken.
I turn around and begin the 3/4 mile trek back home. The hill before the busy street is hard on my joints, but I must press on.