Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Skip to My Lou!

I take a morning walk quite faithfully. It’s a wonderful way to start the day, in spite of the fact that I usually grumble about getting up so early to fit it in. I see all the regulars in the park and we nod our heads, say “Good Morning,” and keep on moving. There are rituals of all kinds going on around me. Dogs and owners running, training each other, and feeling healthy, for example. Ducks, babies and in-line skaters. And the annual spring planting of flower beds! The staff at the park really love this and all the “oohs” and “aahs” they get from us, the faithful, grateful to see the brown heaps give way to spectacular colors.

Friday was just like any other day last week. I noticed, though, that as I made my way up the street leading to my house, nearly finished my own ritual for another morning, I was overcome with memories of being about 9. Whether it was a fragrance from a nearby flowering bush or the way the wind blew my hair, I cannot say. All I know is that I was suddenly possessed by the idea of skipping! I pictured myself skipping home from school, book bag dragging, sweater tied around my waist. I felt tenderness for that little girl that was me. The array of memories just in that moment filled me to the brim.

I wondered how one might describe skipping to someone who had never done it before. I thought about the hopping action and tried to figure out the words to describe that other thing the feet do. This exercise kept me entertained for a couple of blocks. Wikipedia surely has a definition, I thought. (I have since looked it up there: “The hippity hoppity gait (human) that comes naturally to children,” it reads.)

And then, something else happened. I became obsessed with wondering whether I could still skip. I still had a few blocks to go and there was someone walking in front of me. I decided not to try it right then just in case I fell on my face. She would come rushing and trying to be nice and I would be dying from embarrassment as I told her I was only trying to skip.

I could not get the idea out of my head, though. As soon as we turned at different corners, and within site of my house, I started skipping. Big smile! Victory! Phew! It’s amazing how grateful I felt about it. I decided I will use skipping as one gauge of my own aging process.

Can you skip? Young, middle, or old, let us know with your comment to this blog.

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