The sidewalks were mostly clear of snow and ice when I went out for a walk this morning. The first time my feet lost traction for a moment, I couldn’t help asking myself if now is a time…
… to walk only in the sun and stay away from the shadows?
… to be extra cautious and vigilant or to take a risk?
… for patience or for action?
Is it even worth it if I’m more focused on where to place my next step than I am on enjoying the walk and my surroundings?
I found myself heading down to a bridge where there is a stream and thought it maybe wasn’t a good idea. Just before turning back I decided to see if there was actually still ice on the hill. There wasn’t.
The bridge itself, however, was covered in ice. I stood there for a minute, a bit disappointed, and listened to the water. Then I looked across the street and thought I might cross over. I’d never been on that side.
From the other side of the street I saw a path in the snow that went along the stream on this side of the bridge. And even better, there was a tree stump that wasn’t entirely covered in snow that looked like a good place to sit. So I sat. And I listened. And I heard birds and water and all the other little sounds you hear sitting by a stream in a wooded area.
The mud path continued and even though I’d never been on it I thought I probably knew where it went. I wanted to find out and keep going but I didn’t have any water, and no one of whom I could demand food, and it was getting on lunchtime. I don’t know about you, but I get weird when I need food and water and I didn’t want to have to call my husband to have him come pick me up, especially if I was unable to tell him exactly where I was.
I had already been carrying my hat in my hand like a basket for some time. At some point I’d stuffed my gloves into my hat. Now as I turned toward home I shed my coat as well.
I don’t know when I stopped asking myself questions about whether ‘mostly clear’ was a good enough time. But as I picked my way back up the hill I realized that my feet had answered that question after the first little slip on the ice.