Thursday, June 23, 2016

Solvitur Ambulando

My writing habit has slowed.

I'm not doing daily yoga.

These two powerful constants in my life haven't been feeding me the way they did last year.

And so I stopped forcing them.

I wasn't comfortable not doing these things, but not doing them felt right.

I leaned into the discomfort.

And then I started walking on the city streets and residential blocks around my office.

These walks broke up what is often a monotonous day in a cold office.

I noticed that I returned to the office with a little bit more energy, more zest for my afternoon's to-do list.

I also noticed that my insomnia was fading. I still woke early without an alarm clock, but I wasn't waking at 2:30 or 3:00 in the morning with little hope of falling back to sleep.

For awhile, I didn't have a route. I explored different streets.

Slowly a new pattern formed. I walked to the Ritz Carlton Fountains. Sat on a bench for a few minutes and let the sound of the fountains overtake my hearing like the ocean. Then I'd resume my walk through the county seat and into the lush, well-manicured neighborhoods with plenty of shade trees and inspiration blossoming from every strategically placed plant or flowering bush.

This new pattern has evolved into the newest habit, which feeds something deep inside. I am undeterred by hot temperatures. I have carved out a path that meets my diverse needs--sunshine and shade, sidewalks with people and solitary blocks.

I have long loved this latin phrase: Solvitur Ambulando. It is solved by walking.

My daily walks have created space for me to examine things: my work, my writing, my grief, my desire for companionship, my mothering, my spirituality, my dreams for my house, my debt, everything.

A Robcast podcast accompanies me on these walks. For a long time I have found companionship in this teacher's voice and thoughts. He cracks me up and makes me tear up.

The combination of physical movement and listening to such profound conversation is shaping me and healing me. As I work up a sweat in the summer sun, I feel something else burning off. The anxiety that is always so close to the surface fades. My head is clearer. I smile at everyone I pass.

I am grieving, plain and simple. I did not recognize it for what it was, but in time I have come to understand that the life changes I experienced in the past year are indeed very big. And changes, even positive ones, are a form of death. Old things must die away for new things to be born. I am in what is called a liminal state--the time between one season ending and another beginning. I have struggled for months with the question, "What comes next?" I have felt aimless--not a good feeling for someone who prefers control and having a plan. Oh, this question used to break my heart and bring me to tears. But now, I pause and breathe and remind myself I'm in liminal time. I am meant NOT TO KNOW. Giving it a name has given me peace.

What I DO know is that writing and practicing yoga are life-long pursuits. I will return to them I just don't know when. And that's okay. I will know it when I feel it just like I felt the walking was doing me so much good. Solvitur Ambulando. It is solved by walking.

Slowing down makes it easier to pay attention to the small beauties of life.

My favorite start to every walk. Ritz Carlton Fountains.

I found another fountain enthusiast who circled the fountain again and again.

Commercial landscaping has inspired an idea for my backyard.

Beautiful variety at the local town hall on my route.

The entrance to the shaded neighborhoods.

One day I weeded sidewalks and picked up trash.

Today I walked through the sprinklers and felt like a child again. Glorious.

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