Three or four days of my work week I am able to break away from the St. Louis County benefits office located in the middle of Clayton’s business district where buses, delivery trucks, cars, financial institutions, niche shops, eateries, entrepreneurs, visitors, and government employees blend. These 1-hour get-aways can include lunch in or out, meditation and prayer at the corner church, possibly a catnap in a quiet loveseat down the hall, and almost always a walk. Today I brought lunch from home, egg salad made with white bean hummus (yum!) and whole wheat crackers. Afterwards I took my daily stroll. I chose to leave my cell phone and water bottle behind, my security usually a tote on my constitutionals. It is a brisk 50 degrees this cloudy March Friday. I can survive without H2O for 20 minutes. And the cell phone, what did I do for the first 4-1/2 decades of my life without one?!
I have my Fitbit on, but do not check it during this short walk. Besides I have these Clayton blocks memorized, either 3000, 2000, or 1000 steps depending on what direction, destination, and how far I decide to go. I made a conscious effort to be present moment on today’s walk. Four blocks north of my office and back. The church bells chimed louder. Other pedestrians’ voices and footsteps were clearer. I was aware of how many people waited at each of the traffic lights with me, what shoes and jacket they wore, and the colors of the vehicles that passed through the intersection before the crosswalk signal switched. The birds chirped feverishly. Flowers popped out at me as if I was the sun.
In contrast, I feel the sharp, damp air on my face, hands, and the tops of my feet. My joints ache, but this provokes me to keep moving these arthritic parts, and not stifle what God has created. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I know this clearly.” Along that thought … What have I been created for these later autumn years of my life? I think of the human life span as the seasons. Spring is my childhood. Summer is my young adult up to mid-life years. Autumn is my mid-life up to retirement. And the winter will be retirement and elderly years. See how the cold, moist air on my arthritic joints brought me to thoughts of my future retirement during this walk? It is a challenge for this planner and organizer to stay present moment. Yesterday my heart’s desires bubble up among projects and schedules. A sketch of the next 5 years came to me. I have been asking God what am I to do after employee wellness and benefits at the County. Only 132 weeks until my retirement to be possible. I give tomorrow’s blueprints to God, my Creator.
Back to present moment … thankful … for this moment to walk, breathe, love, and live fully.