While Walking: Taking It For Granted

I roll out of bed in the morning and my feet connect with the floor. I pad to the bathroom to relieve my bladder. I get to the teapot and begin heating water for green tea. All with barely a thought as to how I so easily move. 

My father swings his legs out of his bed and sits on the edge, waiting for the caregiver to help him get dressed and ready for the day. His cane with the four feet sits close by and he uses it to make his way slowly to the bathroom and then to his wheelchair where he wheels himself to breakfast. On a good day, he manages without too many wobbles in his step and without aches and pains that slow his progress. 

I walk my dog, sailing merrily down my front porch steps on the way to the park or around the neighborhood, sometimes even running an errand on my dog walk. I nimbly get over the old curbs in my neighborhood, the ones that haven’t yet been modified to accommodate a wheelchair. I think nothing of it, nor does my agile dog. She can correct course mid-air and miss stepping on a grating in the street. 

My client carefully navigates down my front steps on her way to her car. The first few times she hugs close to the side of the porch in case she needs to steady herself. These days, while she’s careful, it’s clear she feels more comfortable and goes faster down the stairs. I no longer have to ask how she feels at the end of a session with me, I just watch how she’s moving as she exits. 

A child who can’t stand and walk gets around on all fours. Carpet or no carpet, he is quick. I hurry to keep up with him as he navigates from living room to dining room. He’ll walk some day and I’m eager to see how he benefits from improving of his ability to turn and fold and side bend his torso and what it might do for his balance in standing. 

This walking thing. We take it for granted. Unless we don’t have it. Unless we’ve lost it. Unless we may never walk. 

If one can walk, one can walk even more gracefully, even more elegantly, even more smoothly. Perhaps, one can even glide, slide, saunter, or sashay.