Saturday, January 31, 2015


"there are times when a woman needs to walk an walk alone. She needs to walk from the world she knows into one that is foreign an strange and scary. She needs to let in the wind, rain, sun, and to feel the blisters on her feet harden. She needs to let her body lead her sometimes and to trust it no matter her age."
Elizabeth Marro  

January 31st, and just like that the first month of a new year is over. The January days took my enthusiasm with them. My turquoise door still makes me smile, but none of the trim is done. The matching shutters have not been rehung. The paint cans sit on the shelf waiting as if the last one picked on the playground.

While I have continued to walk every day with Bella, I find it harder and harder to pull myself out from under the covers to walk the neighborhood when I'm not at work. I am amazed at the number of excuses I can tell myself! The same goes for my writing.  I remember that tingling feeling I had at the beginning of the month. The way the words in my head jumped through my fingers onto the screen. Like the scientists said, I did find that walking gave me a chance to think about things I'd like to write about. When I got home and kicked my shoes off, I found it easier to watch Family Feud than write. Thus some of the spaces between posts.

I have a friend, Diane, who says she can't find a 4 leaf clover if she's looking for one, but almost always finds one when she's not looking. As if to prove her point, when we were in the mountains, one of our assignments was to spend some time outside and bring back 3 things to put in a basket on the counter. Diane came home with a 4 leaf clover. Surrounded by trees, red, yellow and orange leaves, pine cones, various shaped and colored rocks, moss-covered sticks, bottle tops and mushrooms, Diane stepped outside the door, took a few steps, looked down and there it sat. Waiting to be discovered. 

I did the same thing once when I was a kid. On my way to the bus stop, I looked down into the bushes and found a wallet. If I'd known who Sherlock Holmes was, I would have thought my middle name was Sherlock. It's exciting to find surprises in unexpected places. Maybe that's why they are called surprises. When I found a little money in the wallet, the find was all the sweeter. I had no intention of keeping the wallet. I took it home to my father who found the young sailor it belonged to.  We lived on a naval base.  It was a pretty good bet that the guy had not only lost wallet, but his ID card too. In 1960, the money he lost  undoubtedly represented a small fortune. Every time I walked past that line of bushes, I kept my eyes peeled for another pot of gold. 

I've never found another wallet, but I have continue the search for all these years. Ihen I walk, I keep my eyes down. I imagine finding a large bag of money - piles of bills banded together. Stimulated by extra blood flow to the brain, several stories work their way through the gray matter. Maybe a bank robber threw the bag out the window during a high speed chase. Maybe it's stolen drug money. I give the money to the police and receive a sizeable reward which I promptly spend on a Caribbean vacation. Unbeknownst to me my tropical hideaway is the exact location gun-smuggling pirates use as home base. Depending on how far I have to walk, the story either stops there, or continues until a category 5 hurricane barrels down on the island and Sweetie and I narrowly escape off the island and the pirates are swept away in a tsunami. 

Mother Nature Valentines
Moss filled hole in my driveway
Paint stain on road
Keeping my eyes pointed downward may not be the best way to walk.  Especially if one is practicing shinrin-yoku. The whole point of being outside is to listen to bird songs, inhale the scent of freshly mown grass, wave to neighbors, and notice Mother Nature's valentines. I have to admit, however, that I'm a tad clumsy. I can trip over my own feet. So it's probably best if I find a happy medium between down and up.

As I made my way around the neighborhood last week I caught sight of pink plastic bags in most of the driveways. The kind that contain newspaper ads. What caused me to stop was the word "YES!" in big black letters on the bag. Yes what? After the third sighting, I started taking pictures. I decided they were messages from the Universe. I continued walking, wondering what the message might be. Like those people in the "start here" commercial, I follow.  Instead of ending up at a Car Max dealership, I lead myself home. Is that the message? Could home be the answer to the question? 

Yes, I told myself. Yes.
Like Bella after a successful trip to the potty, I fist-bumped the air in front of me. Yes, is a way of acknowledging the changes I've made so far in 2015. Instead of saying "yeh or maybe" saying yes to new ideas is about commitment. It's about stepping across a new threshold. 

My top ten list of things I've said "YES!" to this month: 
  1. painting my front door a tranquil shade of turquoise that invites people to enter
  2. sending a love note to my daughter every day for 365 days
  3. speaking my truth even if it's not heard or understood
  4. walking on a regular basis
  5. signing up for a pilates class (which I missed cause I wrote the date down wrong, but the commitment was there)
  6. making a memory bear 
  7. submitting a piece to my writing group
  8. opening myself up to new blog friends
  9. taking a closer look at a lifelong fear
  10.  letting my body lead me.

What have you said yes to lately?
Merry ME

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