I walked that trail every day. It was my hiding place. The place I went to escape the stresses and issues of everyday life. Free from man-made noises, I soaked up the smells and sounds that only nature could provide.
A few years ago, my husband and I decided to paint a few rooms in our home. Instead of hiring professional painters, we chose to do it ourselves. We researched online, bought all of the necessary supplies and chose paint colors.
When the day arrived to paint, we got an early start by moving furniture and taking pictures off the walls. We also placed painter’s tape around the edges of the baseboards. On paper, this necessary prep work seemed like a quick task, but in reality, it took us all day.
The next day we painted two coats of primer on the walls. As we waited for each layer to dry, we realized our project would be delayed yet another day. The next day was the beginning of a new week and we could only paint during the evening hours. This slowed our progress even further.
The temperature was below zero as I drove to work. A snow storm had just left six inches of fresh snow on the ground burying everything underneath including my car.
It’s been a cold and snowy winter but spring is just a few weeks away. I could almost touch it. But then a storm slaps my hand back and punishes me with more snow and cold air.
“When will this end?” I ask out loud to no one in my empty car.
I look around me and all I see is a blanket of white. There is no green grass on this day. It is fast asleep beneath the snow. Trees are burdened by extra weight that threatens to break their branches.
As I turned a corner, my eyes fell upon the sun slowly rising above the trees. The sky was bright with radiant colors that gently pushed the darkness away. In a few minutes, the Sun would fully appear bringing with it the light of day.
I walked towards the tall building on a beautiful fall afternoon. The cool air had provided relief from the summer heat and everyone was taking advantage of being outside.
I breathed in the crisp air that had put me in a good mood and walked with my head high. I felt good. Life was good this day.
Then it happened. One minute I was walking and the next minute I was lying face down on the ground. After the initial shock of falling, I stayed where I was. I was unable to face the hundreds of people who had just witnessed the most ungraceful fall in mankind. I wondered how long it would take me to melt into the sidewalk and disappear.
I heard a muffled voice in the distance. I could not figure out what it said so I ignored. It happened again but this time, it was louder and I realized it was for me. I looked up to find a young man in his twenties running towards me.
“Ma’am, are you ok?” he asked.
On a warm, sunny day last year, I decided to take a walk. I chose to walk in a park across the street from the building I work in. The park is shaped like a triangle and at the tip, there is a fountain where visitors can soak their feet in the warm lazy days of summer. A gentle breeze will always spray water onto those passing by to offer temporary relief from the summer heat. In some areas of the park, the trees and grass could fool someone into thinking they were miles from the hustle and bustle of a city.
I always feel more at peace when I am surrounded by nature. This is why I like to walk there. The pace of life slows down and everyone is relaxed and smiling. I like to walk on the edge of the park where I can watch the ducks relaxing as they ride the small waves of the river.
This is my time – if only for a short while – to remove myself from the stresses of the daily grind and to just be with God. I imagine him walking beside me. Neither of us speaking, just enjoying each other’s company. This time brings me peace and helps me to return to my hectic day.
A few years ago, a friend of mine returned to the workforce after twenty years of being a stay-at-home mom. After a few months of her new routine, she came to me and asked, “How do you do it?”
“Do what?” I asked.
“How do you get up at the break of dawn, work all day then come home to cook dinner, clean the house, spend time with family and most importantly, when do you find time to be alone and pray?” she asked.
We wear many hats every day that include being a wife, mother, friend, co-worker, taxi driver, maid and chef (insert your list of hats here) and sometimes those demands can be overwhelming and wear us down. We need time alone to pray and rest.