Thursday I sat in wallyworld parking lot at Jennings, it was wet in the morning with high winds against the direction I had to go. People who came up said it would get worse and even a man from the "table of Wisdom" I'd met in Mermetau said I should stay and wait it out. I was feeling aches and pains, under the weather and lazy. By ten thirty I couldn't stand it anymore and loaded up for a walk. By eleven I started to Roanoke about six miles away. I had to walk full against the winds for about a half of a mile back to US-90, it took over an hour with the winds and stopping for conversations. When I finally turned the corner the angle of the wind wasn't much better. I struggled before I left the parking lot with myself about how I deserved a lazy day, it didn't really matter if I skipped a day. Before I had pushed forty feet from the van a woman and her daughter stopped and gave me encouragement. A hundred yards and a man ran across a field to get a picture with me,"show some teeth" he said as he lined he and I into the camera's view. Just past the first driveway where I had to walk down along my first steep ditch of the day with the World over my head to coax it past the watery ditch a
woman stopped and called to ask why I was walking. I harshly said "To encourage people to walk so they won't loose there toes and feet to diabetes by pushing this canvas ball against a heavy wind, carrying a backpack, and walking a dog.to show if I can do this your love ones can walk a little each day to help themselves.", I blurted it out before I could check my infantile attitude. She had just lost her mother in law a few days earlier to diabetes and said her own father was suffering from numbness and the family was "trying" to keep him walking. I told her of the woman who lost some weight, walked for three days and could feel her feet again. "Happy as a schoolgirl!, tell him that story; it might help." Her eyes lit up and she said I was a messenger from above. I don't know about that but for some reason when I tell that story it strikes a note in people. I was glad I began this ugly morning and struggled against wind all day because of that one minute meeting with a woman who cared and wanted to encourage her father to get his circulation back. I was glad I took the long way to snowfall last year and met a band of Indians who walked with me all day (very few folks do)and met the happy woman who's story I tell. All day she was so excited as she held a sign in her hand and a happiness in her step on the feet she could feel again.
The rest of the day I walked in ditch edge with a wind that reached thirty five at times. In the end of the day I had walked less than one mile for each hour I was on the road, or ditch, or edge of fields with two inches of standing water. The winds this morning are strong but the direction has changed. I will see if it helps or hinders.
Any day is a good day to walk, we were built for it.