We had our first hard frost of the season last night. So, when I suited up for my walk, I had to find hat and gloves and some layers. I'm in training again, as of this morning, for my next Camino, whenever that might be. I was tired of being a slacker. I've been pinned to my office chair for weeks now, which makes me feel creaky and stiff. I had to walk on the road rather than in the bush, since its hunting season, and even though I have a jaunty red jacket, I've heard enough horror stories about stray shots and people going off half-cocked that I thought I'd take a walk on the tame side.
What a gorgeous crisp sunny day. The frost rimes made it evident that even the humblest roadside weeds have fantastic sculptural forms. Now that the leaves are down, I can see the cloud banks which form daily over giant Lake Ontario, 20 km to the south, though capturing them effectively on film eluded me this morning.
I didn't overdo it. I let myself walk at the pace which was comfortable. In the spirit of Making Time to Live I tried to notice every sensation in my body; the fingertips tingling with cold, the nose running, the tightness in my hips, the pains in my knees. I wasn't fussing; just paying attention and trying to accommodate what was going on with me. I tried to stand up straight and tall as I walked along, trying not to look like a chicken with my rear end stuck out, on account of my tight back. Pretending that I had a 15 kilo pack strapped on helped with that. By the 3km mark I was walking more quickly. None of the stiffness had gone, and my left calf had added a new note to the symphony of discomfort but I, the me that lives in this body, was feeling fine! I decided to take a detour down a new road they are building in the neighbourhood, for some new houses. The second my feet hit the gravel surface, everything lightened up. The last half of the walk was much more enjoyable, as my gait had to open up and soften in response to the shifting, uneven surface of the clay and gravel base. As if I could have forgotten how hard pavement is on a body!
Even though I'm a total NIMBY* about this new subdivision, there were some things I liked about the road. I can see a new vista through to the big old farmhouse on a hill about 5 km away and ,right now at least, the disturbed soil in the ditches on both sides of the excavation has been colonized by some large, rough member of the mustard family, so there are banks of yellow on either side all the way along. There aren't any houses on the road yet so its a nice place to walk alone in a meditative sort of way.
Now that I'm home I can feel how the cold has seeped into my arms and legs. It's invigorating! I have stretched dutifully, and now I'm ready for another six hour stretch at the desk. And I have a new vista on my mental horizon also. In there, Camino III is underway.
* Not in my backyard