Coming home and walking

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Coming home means changes. Lots. Crossing time zones and the international dateline and losing one day. That’s not the issue. The issue is the drastic change in temperature and humidity as I transfer from a cold and dry winter to a tropical hot wet zone. My physical reaction is not what I have expected. I have been too optimistic but alas, in vain. So the week after arrival has been a struggle between time zones. The body rebels into alternately shivering cold and burning fever. Sleeping and mere lying down is the only thing one can do in such a condition. It has been a tough time for a traveler. The past six months (170 days) has been interesting and fruitful. As I traveled and explored some hidden sights I have witnessed the marvels of God’s creation. The ocean was spectacular. The sky too. Trees. Flowers. Birds. Sceneries. It was like a picture show as I walked around places and took time to look at things, especially the multi-facet, vivid multi-color beautiful sights that nature had displayed. Sometimes I missed my own home ground too. I missed the park and the walk without encumbrances. In a cold place one has to wear layers of clothes even to go out for a simple walk. In a tropical place one wears light shorts and t-shirt wherever one goes. But one cannot walk far in hot weather. One can walk for hours in a cold place. I have not been out walking yet. Perhaps I shall do so soon. Walking is an easy and pleasant physical exercise. I have enjoyed this for years. In my younger days I went running round the lakes in a park when I tried to get over an unrequited love. Another time I went jogging near someone’s home hoping that the someone would come out and jog as well so we could meet by chance and say hello to each other. Later I went jogging with someone. No longer alone. But I shall still walk regardless of company. There are routes and trails that a walker walks alone. I have come across some couples who walk together in the cold. Usually two women. Perhaps the men have to work and the women are free to walk during working hours. Some walk their dogs. Some younger women push their prams comparing notes with each other. One mother runs as swift as the wind with her pram and her rather large baby is sound asleep despite the commotion. The mother is slim and fit and athletic. Is she a splinter in training? The couples are usually of older ages, like they have retired. Perhaps the older women live together. They seem to display the tender ease and comfort with one another which only countless years of close relationship have fostered. Occasionally I encounter a lone man running, or an old man struggling with a walking stick. One old man with a grocery bag with difficulty walking has looked at me with suspicion and decided to halt and stand aside for me to pass. My plastic bottle of water concealed in a plastic bag might have appeared formidable. Sometimes I meet a man and a woman with their dogs. A family. A rather rare sight. I look at the couples and their relationship. They look ordinary. Man and woman. Woman and woman. Occasional man and man. Friends. Neighbors. Families. Acquaintances. Just ordinary people. I listen to some conversations as I happen to be near them and they continue talking loud enough for eavesdropping. Normal ordinary events are the topics of the day. Nothing unusual. We often greet one another as we meet. People in the part of that cold country where I lived are polite and courteous. They have good manners. It’s in their upbringing. This is something we do not normally have in my home country. Walking means exerting the body while refreshing the mind. The trees and the grass. The sky and the breeze. Refreshing and relaxing. I usually see blue sky. The cold country has such clear blue sky that one can’t help but wonders where they get such a lot of blue paint to decorate their sky. When I return to my own sky I am going to pray for lots of blue paint too. Once I got the Mediterranean blue and it’s fabulous. I have a white house and the Mediterranean blue sky is just right as its backdrop. Walking is like writing a free-flow article. Like what I am doing right now. With no intention of a goal. Why write? Just. Why walk? Just. Free-flow. No lecture. No forceful deliberation of arguments. Just. No purposeful straining the muscles and disciplining the body to submit to the forces of nature and bending the forces of nature to submit to the body. Free flow walking does not impose any stress. One does not have to do it. One does it because it’s free and easy and enjoyable. I do get the side benefits. Like the beautiful yellow flowers that covered the hill top completely one day when I climbed up a hill. It was unexpected and was the best gift I had received during my stay in that cold country. No one expected the flowers. They were everywhere. Like spring secretly landed on that hill top too early to announce. I was led there because I listened to the heart and not to the external forces. I was alone. I took in the entire gorgeous scene all by myself. What a rich man I have become. The fabulous blue sky. The purple distant mountain. The lush green grass. The yellow flowers. The eagles. Mine. For a time up there on top of the hill. Walking and writing are similar. Writing is walking with the mind and the heart, driving the fingers. Walking is writing with the mind and the heart, driving the legs. My time is still upside down as I sit here looking out of my spacious window. It’s pitch dark out there. Every one is sleeping except me who is still on another time zone. Amazing. But when am I going to get used to the night as night and the day as day here? Until then I can only dream of walking in the sun at the green park under the blue sky.  

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