To walk is joy

“Movement is the song of the body”—Vanda Scaravelli

The sky is denim blue as I leave the house and the oak tree is a charcoal bushy silhouette against the glowing horizon.

Today for the first time in two months I feel an honest urge to go for a walk—not for health or fitness or to train for some crazy long-distance walk but because my body feels like walking.

I have spent the last two months mostly at home, my walking limited to what was necessary: grocery shopping, to move between my bedroom, kitchen and the bathroom, and between the house and the car and a local café or friend’s house when my body was willing and the pain not too bad.

This period of being still, resting in the here and now, and doing nothing internal or external that didn’t come from a place of pure inspiration is what my body has needed to relax and to heal.

I am moving out of pain and back out into the world.

Wearing my purple and yellow runners, favourite black leggings, and bright pink parka to keep warm against the fresh evening air of this deepening autumn, I leave the house in the post-sunset glow.

My body is unexpectedly eager. Although it is still waking up from its summer hibernation of healing, it urges me on, excited to take step after step through the suburban streets down to the local park 600 metres away.

I arrive at the park at the beginning of nautical twilight: the miniature skyscrapers with their dotted lights are shrouded in a fading peach glow and the sky darkens from silver to midnight blue directly above me.

The world is not silent. The muted hum of the dying peak hour drones from the freeway beyond the park and the occasional car drives past on the perimeter roads. From the tennis courts on the south border, balls are hit, male voices call out. Stones crunch into the concrete path beneath my feet.

Before me is open space: two large playing ovals—an uncrowded oasis amidst the bricks and rendering of suburbia.

I notice it all: the colours, the open space, the freshness of the autumn air, the sounds, and the peace beneath the sounds.

What I love most of all is this glorious movement: my hips sashaying side to side, my legs powering me forward, my feet pressing firmly into the earth, the subtle balancing sway of my jaw, my arms swinging loosely by my side.

I feel like dancing. My body is flooded with joy to be moving freely through this world again, foot to earth, foot to earth.

Perhaps this is what it felt like when as toddlers we started taking our first steps in the world with glee. We didn’t know how long we would last on our feet before we crashed to the ground and we probably didn’t care—solely fascinated by the feat of walking on our own two feet.

Right now, I don’t care that my pilgrimage dream of walking from Rome to Jerusalem didn’t come to fruition. It doesn't matter that I spent months in pain sitting or lying on my bedroom floor. In a strange way, it was worth it for this experience...

I am captivated by the sensation of walking as if I am doing it for the first time. This movement is my song of joy.