A morning walk in Danville should be part of my daily routine. But why can it be so difficult to motivate one self to get up earlier than perhaps necessary, to make the time to exercise? So often I lie there having a conversation with myself, ‘Virtuous’ urging me to pull on my exercise gear; reminding me that I will enjoy it and feel better once I am out. Then there is a ‘Sleepy’ desperately trying to silence ‘Virtuous’. Telling me to snuggle back under the duvet, that the only exercise required is that of pouring water into the coffee jug, that it’s early, that I am tired, that I deserve the rest….. For me it is a daily conversation and if ‘Sleepy’ wins and I indulge in bed I do indeed regret it. ‘Guilty’ lays a triumphant cloak called ‘Disappointed’ upon my shoulders, which sometimes ‘Virtuous’ succeeds in whipping away with a mop and broom insisting that vigorous housework is doing me some good! Do you ever have these dialogues with yourself?
I baffle myself that there is ever a battle as once I have made the commitment I do indeed love being outside in the fresh air. There is nothing quite like the smell of early morning, when the ground sparkles with diamonds of fresh dew and the chill of the cooler night time temperatures still linger. The hope and optimism of a new day dawning brightens my spirits. It’s a time to clear my thoughts, still tangled and jumbled from a night’s sleep. A few reflective moments when there is no phone to answer, no one demanding my attention, no email to open and reply to, just me and my good friend, ‘Morning’. I reacquaint myself with the trees along my driveway and the mailbox at its end.
The roads I normally drive along become so much more interesting when passing them on foot. I notice the plants in the front gardens, determining which look most attractive and which are not part of the local deer population’s evening meal! There are the early morning signs of life, cars politely reappearing from their garages as they agreeably transport their owners back to where they took them the previous day. Dogs scampering wildly in their gardens and children dragging back packs along the ground to somewhat sleepily join the daily car pool ritual. There are gardeners already attending their ‘mow and blow routine’ and always a collection of other walkers and joggers to keep you company.
I gaze up the pathways to people’s front doors thinking how each home is so different and what its presentation says about its owners. I let my imaginings wander and ponder what is going on that very minute behind the pulled curtains and shuttered blinds. People dragging on their appropriate work attire, thinking ahead to their day’s schedule, sometimes already mentally at their workplace. Babies’ needs being tended to, young children being told to hurry and eat their breakfast, mothers tying sneaker laces and dragging combs through their children’s hair, the generally scurrying around collecting books and homework lunch bags and brief cases. Older people quietly sipping a soothing hot beverage, musing over the morning paper and of course some people still fast asleep. Every day rituals that whilst they are happening seem unending but that in fact never stay exactly the same as babies become children who become more independent as teenagers and who eventually leave home.
Maybe today is someone’s birthday or anniversary or special celebration and equally maybe behind some of these closed doors is sadness, illness or loss. The mixed bag of ingredients of the journey of life. I look back at the street. I have just walked down.
Then turn away to continue on the Iron Horse Trail. A gift to us from a bygone era of steam trains.
Sheltered by a canopy of trees my heart marvels at my good fortune to be able to have this beautiful, peaceful trail to walk along, just outside my own back door. I glance at my watch to see long I have been going, enticing smells of fresh coffee wafting towards me and pervading my nostrils, as the local barista pours his new brew. The trail ends and I head for home passing the old Railway Station, now a museum and imagine what it must have been like many years ago standing here in long skirts and a wide brimmed hat, waiting for a train.
I begin my homeward march along the trail and back up the street and as I pass the homes and pathways on the opposite side of the road my busy contemplations continue…..
Energized and alive I am determined that tomorrow ‘Virtuous’ will defeat ‘Sleepy’ and I will discover new thoughts and reflections all over again as I exercise my body and spirit on my early morning walk.