The Sweetest Journey

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D_Stef

I have so much to do. [Shoulders creep up.]

How am I going to get it all done in time? [Shoulders in knots.]

I’m never going to get it all done in time. [Shoulders now replaced with boulders. Hard and heavy.]

I should take a break. 

I don’t have time to take a break. 

That’s exactly why you need to take a break, Thomas. 

I push back from the mess that is my workspace. Paperwork is clustered in piles on desk, chairs, floor.

I head outside and wait for my friend. We’ve only got 30 minutes, but we’re going to walk the pants off of them.

The sun is high and the cloudless sky brilliant and blue. The autumn air is so crisp it hurts to inhale. It wakes my lungs as we make our way to the path. This was a good idea.

We launch into conversation as we fall into step (my friend has to walk on the right; I don’t question it). I hear our soles hitting the dirt path. Sometimes the crunch of rocks or dry leaves underfoot.

“Oh look!” we laugh. There’s a grey squirrel scampering along the fencepost. Not an uncommon sight here but today’s squirrel looks especially soft and furry and cute. He pauses and so do we, letting our appreciation linger.

We round the bend, venting about how much we’ve got on our respective plates. Sometimes it helps, itemizing it all. Having someone offer an “ugh, that sucks.”

“Ah–look!” There’s a rat in the grass. No, two rats! The colour of charcoal. They scurry, then collide–one half-topples over the other. We decide they are husband and wife and it was our good fortune to spot them.

We carry on but not for long. Here, rolling around in the bark-mulch at the base of a tree, is a tubby white cat. He’s found a patch of sunlight. He pauses, belly up, and gives us a good long stare. We’re in the cold shade of the trees, but I can imagine exactly how those warm rays feel. Good for you, bud.

We move along, rounding the next bend, heading west and out into the sun.

“Look!” I point to the field. A coyote slinks across the perfect golf-course-green grass. He looks healthy, his coat full. He walks slowly, his nose down. I wonder what he might find?

“We might as well be at the Calgary Zoo!” my friend exclaims, and we laugh as we walk on.

We reach the end of a clearing and are back in the trees. Dozens of little birds flit here and there, darting from branch to branch overhead and across gravel at our feet. I am pretty sure they are chickadees, all tiny and round and adorable. I love them all.

“I feel like Cinderella” I say, and it’s true. I marvel at the beauty around me, God’s little miracles everywhere. We are only halfway through our walk and already it has offered me so much.

“This is just what I needed.”

We’re in grateful agreement on that. Because sometimes the sweetest journey is the short, simple one that awaits, right outside our door.

__________________

Image credit: Corey

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Stefanie Thomas

Stefanie Thomas

Stefanie is a Registered Clinical Counsellor living in Vancouver, BC. She feels blessed to work in a helping profession and is grateful that her work requires her to show up not in a power suit but with listening ears and a compassionate heart. Stefanie enjoys spending time with family and friends and has never met a kid or baby she doesn’t like. She is a noticer and appreciator of birds (chickadees, herons, eagles) and many a beach rock has come home in her pocket. Stefanie is a lover of music, tv and movies, and she is gifted at absorbing and retaining useless pop culture trivia. She loves walking, fresh air, the smell of dirt, and anything of the salt and vinegar persuasion. She can often be found puttering.
Stefanie Thomas
Stefanie Thomas

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