I’ve been out for my morning walk. Sometimes it is a run – at the moment it is a walk. Frankly since Christmas I’ve felt like I have a trailer on behind and have slowed down a little.
It’s a rather nice change of pace and you certainly notice more.
Without it (the walk) my mind doesn’t broaden, barriers falling away becoming limitless. I don’t know how people survive without walking or running in the morning. Wouldn’t they remain trapped and contained all day?
What an odious thought. I think I walk first thing to hold onto the freedom of sleep – just a little longer. As a way of entrapping the notion that anything could happen at any minute – you just have to dream it.
Dreaming it into existence.
So I walk.
Or if I’m lucky enough to be beachside I combine it with a swim – bliss.
And as I do I see all the other people still clinging to a tendril of their incubating selves. Awake in the world but not totally.
And sometimes we dreamers smirk and smile and chat to each other as we pass.
Which is where I came across the realisation that I rather loved smiles.
Everyone does -it wasn’t exactly a lightbulb moment but once I thought it, my mind bound wordsmith grabbed it and began hammering around the edges of it – that thought. That thought about smiles and for the next little while the top of my head floated off and I wandered along thoroughly entertained by my own head.
Which is of course the loverly thing about being a writer – or an artist or enthusiast about anything really – we become absorbed into our waking dreaming mind and drift along enraptured by the experience.
And I was thinking about smiles – which is a rather nice way to exercise the body and lose a few calories as I walked.
Exercising. It is the exercisers that you meet quite a lot whilst out and about exercising yourself.
The puffers that are soldiering on fiercely, red faced and sweaty – sometimes they don’t even see you, eyes empty behind shades – focus focus.
The sleek fit iPod wearers that are above puffing and panting – instead they sweat gracefully, rivelets artistically cascading down the sharp hard planes of their sharp hard bodies.
I’d rather like to look like them when I run, sometimes I even imagine I do but in reality I’m more of a puffer I believe.
Anyway if you can surprise a smile out of either of these types it is like catching a butterfly on your nose – surprise! Love it. Love those surprise smiles. It’ll be fast – they’re busy you know – but it will be genuine – full of endorphins and burnt calories.
Certainly non fat. Assuredly healthy. Take it eat it – good for the heart – lovely fit as a fiddle smiles.
Then there are the sunken eyed parents with kids in tow. They’re on holidays but haven’t slept all week because the kids haven’t.
If you get a smile it is weary – a bit tight – perhaps they’ve had a fight – those poor weary parents with their non enervating drained smiles.
Where did their youthful sleep in go? Their youth? One minute they were taking on the world the next they were someone else’s whole world.
Oh ho been there done that – keep it up they’ll grow and then one day you’ll be wanting this day back again – no really, you will. I send these types my blessing smile. Imagine here not a patronising sneer but a big soft hearted cheer – silently sent, sometimes received as we cross paths beneath the trees – for they are always heading for the park and swings.
Off we go and around the bend – over the hill and here they come again. A silver one and life’s silver lining.
The older couples that briskly walk their smiles are freely given. They know all about livin’ so they throw out smiles like rainbows.
Hello how does your day go? They mingle in groups, power walk in troops all talking and happy and enlivened by the fact that their surviving when so many of their number is becoming outnumbered because they don’t walk and talk to others. Got to get up and about.
So they walk with purpose and smiles and I love them – the greying and silver plumage just makes them brighter. I walk on lighter for having met them.
So who am I among “them”? These early morning walkers and smilers?
Well I’m the other set – sometimes in ones or twos (I can’t drag my husband out of bed – he is on holiday and won’t be doing that thankyouverymuch although he sometimes mutters (or loudly pronounces) the night before that he will…then doesn’t – which is fine because frankly the whine and the cranky of a man that’s been drug out of bed to walk is ….not worth it or required besides I walk best alone – and do my best smiling then too) because then my head is my own and my dreams can still dream and ponder without having to answer silly questions like what’s for breakfast.
Yes that’s me and them the wanderers who are the in betweens. We don’t have little babies anymore perhaps our kids are teens (or older). We walk along sometimes dreaming of what we’ll do in a little while. Breakfast is a thoughtful thought and we’ll think it in awhile for now we are just happy to walk and gather smiles to fill our pockets
And line our paper bag hearts.
Because hearts can run on empty and deflate throughout the day so it’s nice to catch a bag full and scatter your own along the way.
And smiling is the best hing to do so I hope I’ve smiled at you – and you’ve felt it. Till tomorrow – keep smiling and I know my categories are very tight and small in my walking story but if we stopped to describe every smile and every type of person….this would be a very long post indeed.