Took the sore hip and the two big dogs out for an adventure. It didn’t look at first like it was going to happen. The parking lot of our usual spot had too many cars in it for me to take a walk in my condition with Dusty T. Dog “El Barquero Grande.”
“Dammit, guys,” I said to the two hopeful canines in the back of my car. Then I saw a dirt road that has at the end of it a restroom and, last time I was there, a camping trailer. A hunter. But today? No camping trailer. No hunter.
Which isn’t to say there weren’t any hunters. It’s water bird season. I dressed Dusty in his hunting vest, I put a red bandana around Bear’s neck, and I was already wearing a red shirt. At this point I can walk a mile, then I hurt. I’m using my trekking pole like a cane. I hate it but it’s not nothing. I’m walking 1.27 mph which is also not great, but I have learned that the important thing being OUT there where you can SEE something. It’s not about how far or how fast you go. Try telling me that 25 years ago. 🙂
I took a trail/road through a part of the slough that was new to me. I chose it because it was new and because it would be across wide open land, far better this time of year than wandering among the trees. I like a wide horizon, anyway. It was GORGEOUS. It would also be a great bike ride.
Lots of cranes in the distance — some I could see grazing in a fallow field. A farmer in the distance was dragging a plow through a potato field. A frog jumped in the murky water. The screech of a hawk broke the sky.
Sometime last night I gave up, literally surrendered. I came to understand something about Goethe I had not understood before, what he meant by “renunciation.” I get it. I accepted that the only way I’m going to be able to do the things I want to do all the time is if I get a substantial amount of joint surgery. A new knee, a new hip. Maybe I’ll get by with just that. I hope so.
Instead of fighting it, I realized I should just be glad I live in a time when it’s possible to do this. Not long ago I looked at a photo of my granddad. For some reason, I looked at his hands as they rested on his cane. They were gnarled and twisted with arthritis. During the five years of my life that intersected with the years of his life, he was usually in bed. I remember that walking was very hard for him, and he leaned hard on that cane. He spent a lot of time down in the cellar — it was a cellar apart from the house, down a little wooden sidewalk — sorting screws, nuts, bolts, etc. into egg cartons. I thought of my neighbor who knits and crochets (masterfully!) partly as a way to keep her fingers nimble. She has arthritis in her hands. I figured out that’s pretty much what my grandpa was doing.
But it’s 2017, not 1957 and I could be walking farther and faster (not that I care, right?).