Walk With Me

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When I started out on my walk yesterday, I saw a man further up the road, walking in the same direction as I was going.  He was using a walking stick and going more slowly than I was and  I saw that I was gaining steadily on him.  No problem, I figured.  I’ll say hello and cruise on past — but the situation changed when I realized it was my accordion playing neighbor.  When I reached him, we were just about to his house and I expected him to turn into his driveway but instead he said, “I’ll go on some more and walk along with you.”  As much as I enjoy this man — and I do —  anyone who reads my stuff regularly knows that this situation is often the bane of my walking. I like to think, compose, listen to audio books or sing — in my head and sometimes out loud — as I cover a couple of miles every day.  I didn’t have the heart to tell him that and so we walked — he, stumping along with his walking stick and I, slowing my pace to accommodate his.  Once again, it was a learning experience. Lesson number one:  It isn’t necessary that I be on a forced march every time when I walk.  A walk doesn’t have to be exercise and I won’t immediately lose my level of conditioning if on some days I don’t raise my heart rate to the status of fitness fanatic. Lesson number two:  Everyone’s got something to say and it’s mind-expanding for me to discuss issues and discover the thoughts of people with whom I don’t ordinarily do that.  We may differ in ideas and ideals but deep down, we all seem to have pretty much the same fears and goals.  Lesson number three: It’s a compliment when a nice person assumes it’s okay to spontaneously join me for a stroll. Sometimes I’m a slow learner.

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