In the early days of my walking habit, there was no defined route. I simply stepped out of my office building and onto the sidewalk. I sighed deeply. I was grateful for the sunshine, blue skies, and a chance to clear my head from the monotony of time seated in front of double monitors, overhead fluorescent lighting, and no natural light.
I let my curiosity and mood guide my steps. I work in a beautiful area of the county. I'm blocks from a courthouse in one direction and old, beautiful, well-appointed homes in another. My own yard needs a makeover, so I especially liked getting landscaping ideas from the manicured lawns I passed.
The leafy, colorful vegetation did its work on me. I breathed easier on these walks.
To curb the ache of loneliness that often pressed in on me, I walked accompanied by Rob Bell's podcast, the Robcast. Listening to this spiritual teacher's sermons and conversations was like spending time with a beloved friend.
Rob's Learning to Lament series (podcasts 92-96) had a profound impact on how I framed this grieving space I now found myself wading through. He explained that to lament means to name or expose whatever is out of order. He confirmed that “healthy spirituality is always honest.” And that when we name what is causing pain and suffering, sometimes it disrupts systems: families, work, tribes. He confirmed that divorce is indeed a loss to be grieved.
In the course of these five podcasts, I recognized my experience. I had a name for what I was feeling. I could sense the relief that comes with lamentation. I didn't feel so frightened. As Rob's words soothed, laughter spilled from my mouth, and grief leaked from my eyes. With each walk, I felt something hard and stuck dislodge bit by bit.