One of my many heath practices is walking. I am lucky to have a beach nearby; its about a three-mile walk, round trip. It includes stunning vistas, wooded pathways, stairs for strengthening, a beach if time provides, and the fellowship of getting to know my neighbors along the way.
We have lived in this neighborhood for 24 years. In those years I have come to know many neighbors by sight, some by name, and even a few as acquaintances. Over the years I have either walked with a group of woman, by myself, with Mark, Carly and/or my past dogs. The main theme of my walks has been to get out and marvel at this amazing place we call home sometimes with the fellowship of others.
Recently when Mark an I took this beach walk on sunny Easter Sunday we ran into an acquaintance's daughter who was in town visiting her mom. Delighted to see her and happy the hear that her mom was doing well, Mark and I stopped to chat. She told us that her mom had been "looking" for me and my number as she was hoping I could help her connect a homeless man she had befriended with hope and services. She knew that I, liking to help others and being a connector, was just the woman for the job! She continued on to note what fun she had decorating Easter eggs this Easter season and was glad to gift a couple extra she had made to us.
After chatting with this woman I got to thinking about all of my neighborhood acquaintances that have brought joy into my life, heart warming stories, and even the gift of decorated eggs or something else similarly thoughtful – there have been many. From the five-year-old who waits by the window to say hello in the morning, to the elderly couple who goes for long walks while the husband carries a chair along for his wife’s short rests, to the man who always shares a smile that’s warmth and sincerity touches my heart.
It is such a gift to have a physical practice that strengthens the heart and the soul. The decorated Easter eggs were a visual reminder of the many gifts from my beach walks, both physical and intangible. Here’s to sharing all that we have with our neighbors.
What gifts do you receive when doing physical exercise? Are there gifts that you can share with others in your neighborhood when you are out and about? Do have a local place that can become a practice for you?
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