I kick off my high heels after a day of substitute teaching and head for the couch. Heavy eyelids beg for a catnap, but weary muscles suggest a walk.
Catnap wins. I lean into the cushioned armrest, listening to the wall clock’s advancing second hand. But instead of it lulling me to sleep, I hear conviction: “You should walk before it gets dark, you should walk before it gets dark.”
My stiff joints squeak like the Tin Man in Oz as I push myself up from the couch.
“Sorry,” I respond to defiant limbs. “It’s the New Year. Either we lose weight or we buy a bigger pair of jeans.” Lose weight wins. I shove my AARP feet into tennis shoes and head outdoors.
The calendar says it’s January, but the sun-kissed day makes it feel like April. My heart leaps knowing the cold ground will soon give birth to Daffodil bulbs. Pine trees and leafless Oaks line the asphalt street cheering me onward as an “acclivity” looms before me.
FYI: “the definition of acclivity: an ascending slope (as of a hill).” That was one of the vocabulary words in our Literature class today. I don’t know about the students, but I learned something.
Heart pounding, chest heaving, I take baby steps until the road flattens ____________
When I’m halfway around our three mile loop, I peel off my scarf and vest. I’d quicken my pace, but it feels as though my legs are dragging an anchor through lake water. Voices in my head drown the music on my IPOD: Out of shape! Use it or lose it!
My breath catches as a jackrabbit darts across my path and disappears into the wooded landscape……
Dare I behave like Alice in Wonderland and chase that silly rabbit? A smile stretches across my face as my thoughts turn outward, and then upward,
Where a three-quarter moon, upstaged by the western sun’s golden glow, peeks through a powder blue curtain. My stride increases, matching the rhythm of Casting Crown’s praise album dancing in my ear.
Eyes fixed heavenward, I raise my hand to honor HIM who made the day, “This is the day which the Lord has made; Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24),
and dwell on the ONE who “made the moon for the season; The sun knows the place of its setting.” (Psalm 104:19)
After my walk, I kick off my tennis shoes. And bright-eyed, look out my kitchen window as heaven’s blue canvas melts into a rosy hue.