A walk into the Light with my Shadow

This is a story about a morning walk. No big deal. Nothing unusual. And yet, huge. For I morphed, in one hour, from a tense, tight, bundle of nerves into spaciousness, nirvana. All because of our walk. Or, I should say, because of what went on inside me while we were walking, the way I settled into relationship, once again, with my own faithful, wise little body, and how, today, that awareness spread into an ocean of heart-stopping light.

Our usual walk takes us through open spaces where Shadow can roam free to his little heart’s content.

And through interesting urban spaces opened up by the new Union Street IU dorm complex where he can also run free, and even chase rabbits.

It’s been an easy, scary, global-warming kind of winter. My greens are still growing under a thin sheet of plastic. Or they were, until last night, when the temp dropped into the early ‘teens and the wind howled and this morning, on awakening, the light in the shade-drawn room was subtly higher than usual. I knew it right away. Snow! Exciting!

But then, after breakfast, when we started on our daily walk, right away he began to limp, favoring first one paw, then another, from whatever the city uses to de-ice roads.

Having bent down to flick the little blue gravelly pieces out of his paws more times than I can count last time it snowed, I decided to turn around, get into the car, and drive fifteen minutes out to Lake Monroe instead. This decision threw off my best laid plans — to do a number of posts here in the morning, before going out to lunch with friend Susan at noon.

At first, I grumbled internally. Felt tense, tight, pissed at those damn little salted thingies, they had ruined my day and our walk. My head had been full of expectations. What a fool!

Then, we got there.

And started walking.

And my limbs started moving.

And I started to feel good, very good, icy cheeks notwithstanding.

Oh my god/goddess? What a glorious day! What a Heathcliffian, dramatic, soul-filled, morning. I feel strong, centered, cared for; I travel with this glorious little dog; I am allowed total freedom in the universe to do and think and be exactly myself; I am moving through space and time beside this glorious, wild lake with geese and wind and the subtle hiss of tiny waves. All is good! I am so so so lucky. So grateful. What could be better! What “more” could I ever want? This is the best day of my life, to be out in wild nature with my natural self and beautiful little dog who is running his little heart out, expressing his nature so fully, so completely, that it makes my own heart sing.

I didn’t think it could get any better than that. I was wrong.

Stopped at our local co-op, Bloomingfoods, on the way home to pick up some organic clementines and cocoanut creamer for my daily cup of gano coffee. Indulged my usual sweet, a white chocolate Lindt ball, 44 cents.

Drove out of the parking lot and, as I was unpeeling the Lindt ball, turned on the radio. Just then, the most gorgeous song filled the air, its melancholy and intense sensitivity utterly startling. I was transfixed. Even as I sat in traffic, waiting at the “Intersection from Hell” (Third Street and the Bypass) . . .

. . . I was filled. Filled with delight. Filled with light. I thought wild nature was the gift. And it was, and is. And so is human culture and creativity. This symphonic, heart-drenched song.

I slowly drove into the driveway, and stopped the car, just as the song ended. What was it? Aaaah. Cecelia Bartoli, “Casta Diva,” from the opera Norma.

Are not humans the most extraordinary of all? Are not humans so full of love, beauty and wonder that it takes your breath away?

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