Miles walked: 324
Days remaining: 247
When I walk at home, I typically walk the same route pretty much every day. You may think this sounds boring but it’s actually really nice. My house is on the 3rd street of my neighborhood so I do a figure 8 route, except I just added a 4th street so now it’s like a figure 8 with an extra loop. I make 2 full 3 looped figure 8’s and I’ve walked about 3.45 miles. I walk these same streets at the same time every day in the dark with my MapMyFitness (MMF) app telling me how fast I’m walking every time I reach another mile. I walk this same route so that I know what to expect. I know who leaves for work, who starts their car or truck and lets it sit in the driveway for 20 minutes, and who puts their trash out in the mornings. I don’t usually have any surprises on my walks and can concentrate on whatever it is that’s needing concentrated on that day.
It’s easy to get absorbed into my walk, or my conversations with Jesus. That’s the reason for my MMF friend to tell me how far I’ve walked because sometimes I forget which loop I’m on. There are days when I need that time so much that I could just keep walking.. of course, those are the days that I’m usually late for work because I do just one more loop. One more prayer, one more question, one more thank you to the one that’s walking with me.
When I go to visit my parents, I look so forward to my walks at the farm. There’s nothing around, except cows mostly, for miles. I mean they do have a couple of neighbors a mile or so away and the cemetery is about 3/4 mile down the road but there is no traffic, no sirens, no airplanes, no horns, no lights, nothing. It’s just quiet country.
The last time I walked there was at Thanksgiving last year. Yes, I know I’m well overdue for a visit. I didn’t walk in the dark because I wanted to be able to see all of the nothing.. just the quiet country. My dad mentions that I might see a doe down the road where it turns to go to my uncle’s place and not to worry about the neighbor’s dog, it’s all bark. I get my layers of clothes on and I set off, up the white rock road. Care to join me?
My choice of routes include East/West which is crazy hilly and I figured if I walked 2 miles East then I would be crawling back up and down those hills coming back West. So I choose North/South. This was not a much easier choice because it was really cold and windy that weekend. I head off south from my parent’s place. The sun is coming up, it’s amazing. The country air is so fresh. Even in the late fall when all the grass is dead and yellow, the colors of country is still beautiful. The deep earthy greens of the cedar trees, the blue sky with enough clouds to turn the sunrise into a blue, orange, pink, and purple spectacle, the gray-green of the sage brush, bright reds of the sumac bushes, the bright green winter wheat.. it’s just gorgeous.
I pass the Prarie Bell Cemetery.. I think that’s the cutest name ever for a cemetery 🙂 and look to the west where there used to be a little white country church, the Prarie Bell Church. It was tore down years ago because it was falling down, such a shame. I keep heading south where I come to the corner that turns to go to my uncle’s place and what do you know? A doe… seeming to just be waiting for me to see her. She walks across the road ahead of me and jumps the fence and disappears in the field. I pass the neighbors and sure enough, the “all-bark” dog comes to greet me. I hear water trickling in a creek next to the road, and find that I have a herd of fans (cows) that follow me as far as their fence allows, and just as I’m about to come to the highway where I’m going to turn around, I say a thank you because the strong winds I’ve been fighting will now be at my back! I’m also greeted by the friendly sign directing people to the cemetery.
On my way back, still thankful to have the wind at my back and glad Jesus didn’t have a sense of humor that day to give me wind in my face both ways, I found myself keeping an eye out for the mountain lions my mom told me about since the road is lined with trees in several places. I have no idea what I would do if I found one stalking me, but blaring my Itunes was the best plan I could come up with. I notice that some of the trees that haven’t lost all of their leaves yet are flapping those little brown leaves in the wind and it sounds like clapping. I imagine that they’re cheering me on as I walk my walk. I’m so involved in my walk with nature that I don’t notice a big black horse coming down the hill at me until it’s maybe 50 feet away and of course it startles me. The rider, also decked out in black coat and black hat and bundled up against the wind, tipped his hat at me as we passed, because that’s just what country folk do.
I continue back up and down the small hills that lead me back to my parent’s place, the farm. Past the cows that once again follow me as far as their fence allows, past the dog that’s all bark, past the Prarie Bell Cemetery where everyone is welcome, past the sun that’s standing higher in the sky but still shining it’s glorious colors on me, and back to the white rock road that leads to the house. What a walk.
There will be a day when I get to walk this walk every day. For now, I’ll walk my 3 looped figure 8’s and know what to expect on the same streets at the same time every morning. I’ll dream of the day when I get to live on the farm and walk this beautiful walk in all of God’s country glory.