Fresh air, a nice burn in your legs, sunshine on my face…with all this working from home, I find that I sit way too much at my desk. While I benefit from no distraction of people walking into my church office, it also means there are no distractions and I do not get up and move.
There are a couple of trails within 20 minutes of my apartment that I like, but I also find that I don’t do it unless I ‘plan’ it. Which is also crazy because I am a spontaneous person, but I am friends with a lot of planners, and I hate doing things alone. If that isn’t insight into my psyche, I’m not sure what is.
One of the benefits of living in Colorado was that anyone is up for a spontaneous walk outside at pretty much any time of the day. Coloradoans live outdoors throughout the entire year. Even with the prediction of 10-20” this weekend, they are going to be out in it as soon as it falls.
I’m smiling right now as I think of my Saturday walking buddy. We’d get breakfast at a small local place, then walk around Palmer Lake lap after lap after lap while we processed life. There was lots of ranting and lamenting at times, but also lots of celebrating and cheering. There is something about walking and connecting with someone at the same time.
Today, my nephew and I took a short spontaneous walk all because I heard water running and wanted to find where the creek was at the base of a super big hill. He was enamored with the water running down the hill and kept calling them ‘cute waterfalls.’ Then once we found the creek, he was in awe at the running water there. When I told him it was going to the lake, he said, ‘But that’s so far!’ That’s how water works, ‘lil buddy, it goes downhill. I love seeing things through his eyes. The world looks so fantastical and aches to be explored.
I also think about the times that I took a walk with Alyosha in Russia. I would affectionately call them ‘Alyosha adventures,’ because I never knew what to expect. We loved walking along the train tracks, and every single time we walked the conversation drew us closer together. I used to label it in the itinerary for Russia teams as ‘walks and talks.’
Jesus walked and talked all the time. His journey and the paths he took were always so intentional. Always allowing himself to be interrupted when any opportunity arose. I often wonder if it drove the disciples crazy. John, checking the time, tapping his foot and reminding Jesus they only have one more day to get to where they were going.
Pandemic and staying at home has driven a lot of us to walk more in our neighborhoods, but are we allowing ourselves to be interrupted? Perhaps by an attention seeking toddler? Or an older person who has not had contact from family in months? While walking we can still keep our distances in those moments. Taking the time to stop, wave and ask how someone is doing could make all the difference in the world we currently live.
Here’s to more walks and talks, and moments to be present for our neighbors.