Aimlessness is stopping and realizing the happiness that is already available ~Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh
At the moment I am thoroughly enjoying stopping, right here, right now, in part to rest my legs. They are two special conditions of happiness in my life that get me here & there, up & down, and at this moment standing firmly on earth. After an hour of Nordic walking with ski poles around town they are feeling, shall I say, pushed and tired. Yes, I’ll say that. Using the poles gave them an extra push with each step, thus going faster than they would walking without poles. Offered some gentle stretch to release tightness and lactic acid, their response is, “ahhhh, now please just sit down and write about us. Show us the love!”
What would my life be without two healthy, strong, functioning legs? I imagine much more difficult, despite handicap access on sidewalks, busses and buildings. I have compassion for those who must use a crutch, wheelchair or need help for mobility. So many journeys we take where there is no easy access or pavement. Thank you legs for carrying me everyday; my joy and my burdens. It’s so wonderful when we move slowly, coordinating with the breath, on morning walking meditations. Legs helping body, heart and mind slow down, relax and feel peaceful. Sometimes I soak you in the hot bath after slow, careful stretches. Other times I work you like beasts of burden to the point of exhaustion. Fortunately you have both bounced back from minor injury and not worn down or needed parts replaced.
When we go shopping with the bike you happily pedal with load light to the market, and with load heavy, returning home, bike bags packed with tasty food energy. How nice not to drive the car for simple shopping, chores and local commutes that are only a couple miles away. Yesterday riding up and down hills, across town to meet a group to watch birds early in the morning, at times you both seemed drained while cycling the inclines. I understand, as the night before we did Zumba for an hour and got a sweaty workout. Actually we mostly jumped about, arms flailing and heart pounding, watching the young, athletic woman lead the class beautifully, like a professional Brazilian dancer. With gratitude they continued pedaling slowly to the park, with a short rest, getting up the hills eventually to witness many happy birdies. The true birders I met up with identified several species, including a rare, for the west coast, yellow-bellied sapsucker, sucking sap. Also a pair of gray herons showing off at tree’s top, in preparation for nest making (images below).
There are so many conditions of happiness here and now. My legs are just two of them. Scanning the body identifies many others. Being free of thoughts or feelings that cause me to feel imprisoned, such as feeling fear, anger and despair, are significant conditions of happiness, also. So what conditions of happiness call out, at this moment, for your recognition? Sometimes it only takes a few mindful breathes in awareness to awaken to our own happy conditions. After a brief rest and some coffee, my legs will take me out for a gentle cycle to visit friends.