I like to take my body for a walk every morning.
Yesterday was a particularly beautiful morning. The sun was glistening of the morning dew on the grass, clear blue skies and the unmistakable air of approaching fall – cool, crisp and crystalline. My body’s happiness knew no bounds. The heart opened up to breathe in life to the fullest. There was a certain spring in the steps like a child out at play. Walking felt like dancing, each part moving in rhythm step after step – well coordinated, well synchronized – loving every bit of the morning.
My neighbors take their dogs out to walk. (And their bodies too – but probably don’t see it from this perspective). So we meet Tyson and Phoebe and Lola and Gracie and Spike and Goldie as they walk with their masters and mistresses. How like my own body these dogs are – excited and exuberant to be out in the morning air. Gracie the darling dog wants to make friends with everyone she meets – look at me, love me, pet me, she calls out as she drags her owner towards me. Her mistress tries hard to reign her leash in and keep her within bounds. Partly exasperated, partly embarrassed, she apologizes.
I understand perfectly. My body too wants to wave, greet and smile at everyone. It wants to make small talk as if to say ‘here we are on this beautiful morning sharing space on this gorgeous planet, do you see, do you feel what I feel?’ It wants to dance and jump with joy. But like Gracie’s mistress, I too ask my body to contain its enthusiasm, lest it is a bother for others.
Today too I took my body for a walk and we met a new dog – a handsome black and red Collie. Master and dog approached us. About a fifty yards before we met, master quietly spoke to the dog and the dog obediently moved over to one side to allow us enough space to pass. And as we passed, both master and dog greeted us with their bright beautiful morning smiles and walked on. It was then that I noticed that this dog was not tethered by a leash, and yet walking along calmly close to his master. No frisky running about, no chasing after strangers for a quick pet, no excessive curiosity – just taking a brisk walk in the sun. Master and dog enjoying the morning.
That’s how I’d like my body to be – like that red and black Collie. No need for a leash to be pulled and contained. No longer needing to be disciplined or controlled, just a quiet acceptance that all is well, ever heeding its master’s voice – my soul.
And one of these days if all goes well, I may even qualify for an upgraded model. Until then this body of mine and I will keep playing and dancing. And taking walks in the morning.