I took a nice long walk this morning; had to hurry, before the sun was fully out. It was a bit toasty and humid anyway. But that’s OK. Walked over to my local park; just a few minutes from my home.
It was similar to a crowded freeway there. My observations included a varied bunch of folks: Several runners, a woman with very long black hair (past her butt) jogging while pushing a baby carriage, a very old half bent-over man with his 60 something daughter holding his arm, a couple with 2 cute little white dogs, an old gent with a baseball cap and thick, dark, wrap around glasses so you couldn’t see his face, a father with three young very blond boys, and a very large fellow, probably 300 pounds or more, with thicker than thick legs.
I said “hello” or “good morning” to all of them. Sometimes my greeter was louder, sometimes softer; got a response almost every time. Ah, but some said hello to me first…gotcha! It’s a most friendly place.
One woman this morning truly inspired me. She had short brown hair, glasses, a brown shirt, and brown slacks. The first time I saw her, she was walking towards me. I said “hello”. She didn’t return the greeting. Maybe it’s because she was concentrating so hard on walking. Being severely knock-kneed and with a body slightly bent towards her left, each step looked painful. During some of those steps, her knees brushed against each other.
I continued on my walk, all the way to the end of the trail, then turning around. After about four minutes, I caught up to her again. This time, viewing her walking from behind, her steps took on a special meaning to me. I started thinking about people who just don’t try, whether it be exercising, reaching for the next step on the corporate ladder, getting along with people, eating right, and well, the list goes on.
Not only that, she had no fear about being out in the world with her disabilities. I’m sure she’s doesn’t waste time thinking about what people’s perceptions are of her. “Are people looking at me and thinking I’m weird?” Nope, she’s just not going to dwell on that. Her determination on getting that fresh air and that walk has overcome any qualms she may have about her appearance. She is trying.
Well, lady dressed in brown, you are a symbol of perseverance to me. I hope to see you at the park soon, and I will again say “hello”. I’d be honored to receive a “hello” in return.