I walk a lot these days.
I walk everywhere in this tiny town, and I easily have two handfuls of reasons for doing it. One is that I'm pretending I live in New York. That's pretty much my reason for everything right now. I live in a tiny apartment because I'm pretending I live in New York. I only have one car because I'm pretending I live in New York. I curse a lot because I'm pretending I live in New York. (just kidding Grandma....and New Yorkers.)
I don't even really want to live in New York. I just think it sounds cool.
So this morning when it was time to take Miles to school and it was raining hard enough for people to have their wipers turned to high, I checked the sky for lightning, handed out raincoats and umbrellas and headed out. I know people think I'm crazy. Or else they think I have a DUI. I'm not sure which.
The truth is that I love the rain. I love the feel of it on my face and the sound of it hitting the hood of my jacket. Not only does it remind me of Northern Ireland, but it reminds me that I'm alive, and living in a world with sensory gifts.
Sometimes when I'm walking, or trying to talk myself out of walking somewhere, I try to imagine what it would be like if someone came on the news next week and told me that I could not go outside for more than 15 minutes a day. And then a week later told me I could never leave my house again. What if our world consisted of indoor tunnels to get from here to there and the outdoors suddenly became inaccessible? What if I never got to feel the rain again, or the sun on my forearms. Or hear snow under my boots? What if the annoying wind never slapped me across the face when I stepped out my door?
(I know. I read too much Margaret Atwood - you don't have to tell me.)
Today I am thankful for these sensory gifts of the outdoors.
And I promise not to take them for granted until the day they are taken from me.