"An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day!" ~Henry David Thoreau
Barbara Jane Horne, was my maternal grandmother and for years I walked with her before the crack of dawn. We walked to the bus stop because my grandma Horne never drove and the bus was how she got to work. Our early morning walks allowed me to have uninterrupted access to one of the wisest women I have ever met. After my grandma Horne passed from Cancer in 1998, my walks became a time to reflect on the wisdom she shared with me and to feel close to her. I still miss my grandma Horne and waking up to the sound of her voice; "Hello Dottie, you walking?"
My mother was also a walker, she would walk ten miles with ease. Serious talks with my mother were always proceeded by, "Come take a walk with me." Those walks would either make you happy or sad, but trust and believe they always had an emotional impact. Although mom and I never discussed her love for walking, I believe it was a way for her to tap into peace.
Walking with my mother was like an adventure. My mom would stop and speak to everybody that crossed her path, including strangers. My favorite walks with my mother was when we walked by the water, there was always a sense of calm on those walks. One of the greatest joys as an adult was having my mom visit me in California. I loved the time we shared at the Pacific Ocean and hearing my mom say; "Hey Dot, let's walk."
Walking holds a special bonding significance for me, so needless to say when I had children we went for walks. One of the memorable walks with my daughter was when she turned sixteen. My daughter's choice was a mother daughter road trip over a "Sweet Sixteen" party. One of our stops was New Orleans, and together we walked and experienced the culture, music, food, and soul of the city. Our time in NOLA was about five years before Hurricane Katrina which allowed us to have a truly authentic experience. That would be our first and last mother daughter trip during my daughter's childhood.
We have however, taken many walks since that time, including walks of joy and grief. The longest walk by far was from the chapel at Children's Hospital prior to taking my first grandchild and my daughter's first child, Nathan off life support at 8 days old. Storms will enter your life at various times however if you can walk away from them you can keep loving and living.
Although I am pretty adventurous, serious hiking is not really my cup of tea. However as a way of connecting with one of my favorite doctors, I agreed to join him and his daughter hiking. I thought that would be a cool way to bond with my sixteen year old son. Well, let me just say this,
Dr. Brown, totally understated the intensity of the hike. He made it seem like a nice casual stroll with lots of cool nature spots to see along the way. That hike was 14.5 miles round trip and I could use a lot of words to describe it but I assure you casual stroll would not make the list.
The most rigorous walk, I mean "HIKE", that I have ever taken was the Mt. Wilson Hike . I knew before reaching the top of the mountain, that would be a once in a lifetime thing for me. I was able to at least provide comic relief for the journey. My son and Dr. Brown had a grand old time laughing at my expense. In the spirit of having the last laugh, I completed that hike and created a lifetime memory with my son. Life will present you with challenges, turns, drop offs, and rocky terrains, my son was able to experience first hand the beauty of reaching the top of the mountain.
I am now blessed to see my children as parents which has evolved me to the role of "Nana". The joy of walking with my grandchildren is the most heartwarming walk I have ever taken. I am so blessed to now be able to pass on lessons, love, and wisdom to my little people. Every time I hear the request; "Nana let's go for a walk" it brings joy to my heart.
I am blessed to have walked paths in most of the 50 States, Canada, Europe, and several Caribbean Islands. My favorite walks are along the beach because the ebb and flow of the waves align my physical and spiritual walks in LOVE. Currently our journey is pointed in the direction of Paris, France, where we plan to WALK, LIVE, AND LOVE. ~OneLove (Diane)
It is your road and yours alone.
Others may walk it with you,
but no one can walk it for you