I’m spending my Sabbath this week at my mom’s place in the country outside McKinney, Texas. I came up after work yesterday, and because Siri gave me a most circuitous route around Dallas to avoid rush hour traffic, I was able to get to McKinney in time to meet my mother and my brother for dinner at an amazing barbecue restaurant, Hutchins. Such a gift.
I’ve had a lot of extra intense things going on at work. I know that sleep, good food, quiet with God, a day each week to cease to work, and walking keep me centered. It’s been hot and muggy in Houson, and so I’ve made it a spiritual practice to take a very early morning walk right as the sun rises most days. It’s very hard to get out the door and take those first steps, but it makes all the difference to my day.
When I’m at my mom’s, I like to wake up before she does and make her fresh ground coffee and clean out the dishwasher. It gives her a good start to the day. After I’d done those two tasks this morning, I decided to steal into the room where my brother was still sleeping and get my walking shoes that permanently live at my mom’s.
I was tired and feeling a little blue, if I’m honest. There’s a lot weighing on my shoulders now. I knew I needed to go outdoors and walk. I put one foot in front of the other, a prayer line humming in my head: we make the way by walking.
I took my phone along in case I saw anything picture worthy. Everywhere I looked I saw plants withering from the August heat. Power lines marred the view. Nothing I wanted to remember.
I continued to walk. The smell of lavender gently surrounded me. My mother’s neighbors have a lavender garden, and though the blooms were past, the perfume remained.
I walked up a hill as early morning colors began to transform. I saw the little Methodist church at the end of road, and I pondered God leading me on my daily path.
I passed the tiny cemetery where some of my ancestors are buried. Turning to retrace my steps, I passed the land where my great-greats had built a house over a hundred years ago. I was surrounded by the love of family.
As I walked back to have coffee and breakfast with my mom, there was a stand of my favorite flower, sunflowers.
I’d made the way by walking.