There were walks down bean rows to pull weeds and through gardens to pick vegetables. We have had the pleasure of walking down paths in many states; Minnesota, Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Montana to name a few. We have walked through graveyards in search of ancestors in Kansas and Ohio, through our nation's capitol, Mount Vernon, Monticello (Jefferson's home and Dad's favorite president. Did I mention he is a retired history teacher who loves to fish?), Williamsburg, Jamestown, Gettysburg, and many other historical paths. I was so excited when he and Mom were able to travel to England and France with me and walk the steps where druids, kings, queens, and great men walked before us. It really touched me to walk on stone steps worn away with millions of foot steps before mine, ours. Maybe our best walks have come in the last decade, starting with that wonderful walk down the aisle, and then walking with first Tink and then Bear in between us. Sometimes we talk, and sometimes we are quite, but it is always a great thrill to take a walk with Dad and add another memory.
I will share just one because I am tearing up, and this will make me, and hopefully you, laugh. I believe we were in the mountains of New Mexico, hiking back to an old mine site with a suspension bridge. Mom and Grandma didn't go, so Dad and I set out with a container of water and a hop in our step to see what we could see. If my memory serves me right, we saw a bird that likes to swim under water and build its nest on the steep side of the cliffs. It was all very Audubon-esque......until Dad decided he was tired of carrying the full water bottle. I was ahead of him a few yards when he decided to dump the water we had left. I didn't know what he was doing, he didn't tell me, and the spot where the water hit had some sticks and rocks around it. Anywho.... to innocent me, that water hitting the ground sounded pretty darned like all the rattlesnakes I had ever heard on any Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom or other animal show, and I screamed! And it was LOUD! We were in a canyon of sorts, and my scream echoed. Mind you, I seriously cannot scream if you begged me to; this was a primal cry of fear. When this echo died away, a new sound replaced it.....yep...Dad was doubled over, laughing so hard he was crying. Apparently there is a primal dance that one does when one is making a primal sound, and I was inspiring. After I calmed down, was assured no fifteen foot reptile was going to eat me, and had seriously reprimanded my father for trying to scare his only daughter to death, I laughed too, and we were still giggling when we came off the trail. We love to tell that story; it makes us smile. Happy Birthday Daddy! Love, Your Little Girl!
P.S. I hope you have a friend, two legged or four legged to walk with you. I was very inspired by a story I read on a new friend's blog. Four Leaf Clover Tales reuniting with her horse is a must read! With that, I leave you to take your own walk today, be it physical or spiritual. Open your ears, eyes, and heart to all that comes your way.