We took the old way today.
I decided, first thing in the morning, the open window air felt so very, very fresh.
Went to church, came back home and had decided…we’re gonna walk the hill.
We took the old way, the one before the subdivision came and brought with it, walking trail.
The way he’d never gotten to go, “Colton Dixon” the big brown Lab and I.
I held tight his leash, pulled him quick and sharp to the grassy edge when a car sped by.
It’s different now.
Before, I always knew, could anticipate what was coming. I considered it skill, my control and my anticipating good or bad.
The way I walked before, holding tight their sweet hands up the hill.
Sometimes my daughter, others my son
And sometimes both, we’ve gone on walks since way back when.
They thought it so high, the hill in the distance, the curvy approach, excited…I remember them being so excited for our nothingness type of adventure.
Our long walk, they always listened when I said we
gotta listen out, be careful.
One little stretch, a few feet you can’t see looking back towards home or up ahead towards hill, still there.
We were careful there. I held them close.
Then there were some days, just me, walking off the whatever on my mind.
Not quite as careful by myself for the sound of car’s engine or the turn of rowdy boy truck from back road.
But, with them, well…
It was our adventure; but, I watched and I listened until.
We’d say, “We made it!”
Made it to the top of the hill, “Whew!”
The air today, it was heavenly.
The sky, blue and translucent.
No trail to follow, only edge of the road and a quite
vacant Sunday afternoon road.
We took the old way, new to him.
Our senses overloaded, his nose and my heart…all the little new things.
Reminded me, enough now, to be reminded and to pray.
The walks we walked back then.
The hill not nearly so steep, nor the road as much a challenge at all now.
The bend remains and the spot where you can’t see very far ahead, still there.
In between the sharp curve and high hill.
And it’s one way or the other now, I realized. A choice, an acceptance, sometimes reluctant surrender.
Bending away or towards what is not yet seen, a less tightly held hand on what doesn’t seem old at all…not old, just before now.
I turn with the change, turning, stepping, leaning into the curves. I’m not at all tired, stronger thoughts, stronger stride.
I lift my eyes toward heaven and the faith I walk with cares less about the hill and the sharp unknown of the bends and so much more about the adventures, their lives once and still mine.