Walk With Me
Hope, optimism, resilience, enthusiasm and motivation are reflected in the lifestyle of the woman with a positive attitude. Walk with me as we learn to emulate her beautiful traits. She has learned to accept the things she cannot change while still working to change the negatives that keep trying to enter into her life. She exudes youthfulness, joy, ability and confidence as she relates in her world. She is always seeking knowledge, ready to help, ready to forgive. She is someone we would like to emulate.
One of the things that promote a positive attitude is regular exercise. Walking is probably the easiest, best and cheapest way to achieve the 30 minute a day recommended exercise regimen. We are told that our physical health is improved and enhanced by just this small amount of movement. Our minds are cleared and refreshed as well. Significantly improved moods, mental and emotional, as well as some level of euphoria have been attributed to this physical activity. Energetic walking has been shown to release endorphins, the feel good hormones that improve our moods while reducing stress and anxiety.
Walk with Me
Walking the rolling hills in my neighborhood is my choice for an individual trek. Keeping up with what is transpiring in this 40 year old neighborhood gives me a feeling of belonging, of having a home place, and the opportunity to meet a new neighbor occasionally. Our neighborhood is one of custom homes with a variety of styles and size – modest by today’s standards. Most of the yards are very well maintained. Some are beginning to show the age of the inhabitant as well as the age of the homestead. But it is springtime and there is a burst of new landscaping and flowers are blooming. A couple of new fences are going up down the block. The trees are making a good comeback after the damage from the small tornado that skipped through two years ago. Some of the trees had to be replaced and are now putting on new growth.
Across the way another granite kitchen is being installed. This has been a popular improvement exercise lately – our houses are ready for refurbishing. Two pools are being resurfaced and new flagstone installed. And there goes a new air conditioning unit installation: need that before the heat of summer strikes.
The elderly lady on my street is covering her early blooming flowerpots each night lest there be a frost. The new baby down the street is taking first steps and loves the buggy rides, enjoying the sunshine in her new stroller. She’s a first grandbaby on both sides. Across the street a middle aged couple care for both of their mothers who are in ill health and live with them. The couple works downtown and I am impressed with the 17 year old son who appears to be very caring in helping them all. I think of the load they carry as I see them come and go.
I turn the corner onto a street with larger homes. Behind the beautifully etched-glass double front doors under the porte cochere, the tall and handsome man, along with his beautiful and vivacious wife, now deal with his Alzheimer’s, the beast that is slowly diminishing his lifestyle. It seems so unfair. Walk with me and see.
The beautiful two-story home next door is impeccably kept but it appears lonely. The active grandmother who lived with her daughter there recently passed away quite suddenly. The loving response of their Buddhist friends was noticeable. In the adjacent yard, a white cross inscribed with “He is Risen” tells a bit of the diversity of our neighborhood. A Korean couple who immigrated to the United States 30 years ago to work in the high tech field now has a new grandbaby. I stop along the way to ask about their son who is a student at A&M. Walk with me and see.
At the end of the street at the largest home of all, the yardman is cleaning up eggshells in a myriad of colors from the egg hunt of yesterday. This couple, relatively new to our neighborhood, sets the pace by making every holiday an extravaganza of decorations – from 10 foot spiders on the roof at Hallowe’en to wonderfully lighted scenes at Christmas. The hope of our future includes young families like these who are living and enjoying life.J
At the end of the long street I stop and gaze across the road at the picturesque home which includes several acres of pastureland with white open slat fencing – Tennessee style – where I see their horses grazing in the fields of clover. Two white horses, a red Roan and a very dark glossy brown one are munching near the road today. Such a lovely pastoral view calms my being and brings joy to my soul. This is my favorite place to watch the sunrise or to see the moon rise slowly over the barn at the back of the property.
Here comes my young friend racing down to the corner to wave to her kindergarten grandson who will be chauffeured by in a minute in his car pool. It’s a morning ritual. I love it. I’m a grandmother, too. The wind rustles the trees on the way back to the house. I hear a garage door open and see the lovely young pediatrician leaving for work with her husband not far behind – he’s in software.
There comes the school bus for the three young children down the way. It seems that every neighborhood has one house that is not well maintained. This family bought the one that was causing us concern. Gradually but determinedly they have redone and replaced the worn parts and have redone the landscaping that slopes down into the creek bed behind them. They have brought new life to the house and to all of us. Optimism is in the vibes this morning.
Next door to the children’s home, the windows are shuttered tightly. The house looks neat but desolate. Our neighbor is dealing with the recent death of her husband who had recently retired – she feels alone. Directly across the street the recently retired golf pro and his wife are on their way back to the golf club where they now volunteer and both teach golfing lessons. They are befriending the new widow. I think they sorta keep an eye out for me too – but without doubting my independent abilities.
I cross the street to my house and pull a couple of errant weeds from my yard as I gaze up and down the street. I built my home 27 years ago – the year after my much loved husband died suddenly at much too early an age. My precious children were young adults at the time. They come and go and we enjoy wonderful family times filled with love and joy. They are living productive lives. But this is my home.
This is my neighborhood. We are of many different skin colors; we are from eclectic backgrounds holding to a variety of faiths. We are not in-your-face type neighbors. But we keep an eye out for one another. We pick up newspapers and pitch up on the porch. We wave and visit in the yards on occasion. We are a neighborhood proud to be American with flags flying and at a ready to help if the occasion demands. Walk with me and see.
Every house has a story – some that we know – other untold stories live quietly within those walls. We know that many heartaches and many joys have come and gone. We are a community that respects the others. We are America. Yes, this is my home.
Walk With Me
The walk has energized me and grounded me in the knowledge that I belong here. It has heightened my awareness of the stages of life and of the demands life places upon my neighbors. I say a little prayer asking blessings on us all. I take a deep breath and enter the house, recharged for what life has in store for me this day. I am alive. I am here for a purpose. May my life reflect hope, optimism and resilience!