Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “—amble.” Add letters to the beginning of “-amble” to make another word or use it as is in your post. Enjoy!
Amble, the ability to move about slowly, for pleasure, has a “stop and smell the roses” component to it, the ability to seize the moment and just sink down into the here and now of it, without rush and without care, for me, ambling is also about gratitude.
If you haven’t taken a moment to thank your knees, your legs, your feet and all of the myriad parts required by your body to move your head from one place to another, I urge you to take that moment now. Imagine if you could not amble.
It is a beautiful summer’s day in New England as I write this. I live next to a quintessential, rocky, rushing New England river, that tumbles down the mountains in its quest to meet the ocean via the Connecticut River. People come from all over the world during the fall to see how beautiful it is here, but it is beautiful all year round, even when it is the endless gray sky of winter (which I believe is 10 months out of the year).
There are walking paths all around here, some converted from old rail tracks. One hiking trail passes by the end of my apartment’s parking lot (next to the garbage bins, which is not one of the more scenic aspects of the trail). I look out my window with longing, like a cocker spaniel left in the car (in the shade, windows opened!) while its owner has disappeared into that building that smells of coffee. Maybe I whimper a bit too, as I look out my window.
I cannot amble. I can walk slowly and with purpose, with the aid of a cane. It isn’t a pleasure. It isn’t a stroll. It isn’t so much a walk, as it is a shifting from one hip to the other, propelling myself forward. If you play Minecraft, my walk is that of the golems that protect villages. I am much too young for this.
Who knew, all those years ago, that a fall due to picking up and pivoting with a moving box would cause so much trouble down the line? Or that it, being untreated and unhealed, the original injury would cause another fall within a few months, with another moving box, that would seal the deal for years to come. Who knew that having the injuries untreated, due to lack of money and lack of health insurance (pre-Obama Care) would lead to official disability years later? Who knew they wouldn’t just eventually heal? Who knew that as you get older you don’t just bounce back from injuries? Sure, it was obvious that I really injured myself, but they were just ground-level klutziness, not like the fall down stairs that came years later, also thanks to those bad knees.
I am still grateful, despite looking with longing through the window, unable to amble down the trail by my garbage bins. I am grateful that I can still walk, even if it is like the Minecraft golem. Unless I get a surgery, I see the writing on the wall. At some point I’ll need a walker, and then a chair. I am grateful I am where I am right now. That doesn’t mean I don’t wish things were different, of course I do, but radical acceptance: I am where I am, in the condition I am in, and I’m grateful for the mobility and independence I do have.
If you are able to amble, please do so. Get out there. The world is still amazing (despite our politics). Pause for a moment. Smell a flower. “Thank you knees.” Don’t compare yourself to others, some who have it much better and some who have it much worse. Your life, as it is, has blessings even if all you have is life. What a frikkin miracle it is “just” to have life. We take a lot for granted, even when things are their darkest, simple things like, “I can amble across the room.”
When I sat down to write this stream-of-consciousness post, it was going to be about scrambled eggs. Brains are truly interesting in how they move through thoughts.
What I was listening to while writing: