Sunday, October 25, 2015

Walking forward

Taking it all in
There are times in our lives when we have no idea what is ahead. I'm beginning to believe that these are the times that we are about to grow the most.

I have been feeling that pull of change as I pack up suitcases and boxes with 2 seasons worth of clothes and belongings and prepare to head out to NY. 

Like it or not, I am about to grow again, to relearn a way of life for a while. It's an adventure that my husband and I don't have a step-by-step road map for and that's okay. 

Ever feel like we begin to live less and less of our true potential when we write out the entire story before its lived? 

We can't count on everything being the way we envisioned it. Sometimes the way we envisioned it wasn't even as wonderful or colorful as the way it changed and rerouted.

I've been thinking a lot about this on my walks in the last few weeks, watching the emerald summer turn to the red and gold autumn. I love autumn walks the most. I imagine this as both a practical training and sentimental way to say goodbye for a while. Training for the walking ahead of me, living on the upper West side of Manhattan and a way to honor how much I love my charming and imperfect Rochester neighborhood. 

Last weekend I walked all the way to the top of Cobbs Hill and looked out on the view I've long gazed at, of the city I call home. Five years ago I trained on this hill for my first 5K, practicing running inclines. While I trained I was learning to strengthen the timid lungs weakened by cancer and thought of how my life could be different.

Following that loop up and around the highest point I knew in the neighborhood, I gained confidence. I watched the colors change around me each time I came back. My body changed too. I struggled less and began to breathe easier with each loop. 

Changing Colors
In a year's time I was at the top of Cobb's Hill again breathing in the air and admiring the changing colors.

This time it was the extension of a first date. 

He was in town for only another week. He had a kind smile and soft, loving eyes. Over pancakes and coffee we talked about who we were in that usual way strangers do. After the meal and the requisite hour or so of talking in between bites and sips, he took me by surprise.

Instead of the "well, this was fun, nice to meet you" thing, he asked if I had more time to just hang out. I was taken aback...where could we go...? I suggested we drive to the top of Cobbs Hill and go for a walk.

I showed him that spectacular view of the city and as we walked, he reached for my hand. This was unexpected - I guess I was so used to the awkward 'usual' way these first date things went.

In that moment I didn't see the future.

Four years later, this man is my husband and we have navigated so many other moments, decisions and plans. That won't change. We are following the road where it leads and if the road runs uphill along the way, we'll just learn to get up it the best we can.

I'm excited about this new chapter. 

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