A Walk, Wildflowers and a Cane

It was a beautiful morning. Sunny. No humidity. The flash flood the night before had not done much damage. I knew immediately I was going to put off the things on my to-do list. Instead, I hurriedly dressed, so excited to be able to finally take a walk on the trail — no flood, no rain, just me, my camera and my cane.

And then — I made a decision that turned a simple stroll into a challenge.

I decided to leave my cane behind. It would be the first time since my hip surgery seven months ago and all its unexpected complications, requiring many additional painful treatments and physical therapy that I felt strong enough to do it. I have been vigorously exercising, but my balance is still not good and I limp. I am also very slow and lack confidence.

I walked carefully down the steps and over the walkway that leads to the lovely trail behind my home. I could hear my physical therapist  — “shoulders back, stomach in and hips under.”

It was tricky going. The trail that runs along the stream was full of debris and potholes. Part gravel, part dirt, part grass. A not so smart choice for my first time walking without a cane! But then, as she usually does, Mother Nature provided me with a solution. A morning filled with bird song, the gurgling of the stream and the most astonishing wildflowers! Such abundance! And the colors! I forgot my fear and discomfort. Instead, I took the pocketknife from my keychain and carefully cut a few. Just enough for a bouquet. Hydrangeas, daisies, black-eyed susans and breathtaking rose of Sharon.

I took my time. I savored every minute.

Twenty minutes later, I climbed the steps to my front door, put the flowers in my favorite vase (an old pottery pitcher), and took off my sneakers

I did it!!! Twenty minutes doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but to me it was a victory as satisfying as running a marathon.

I hung my cane on the hook in the foyer. It will likely still be a necessary accessory. But hopefully, less often.

I went into the kitchen, made a fresh pot of hazelnut coffee, filled my favorite mug and lifted it up in a toast.

“To Victory”!  My first walk without my cane!

Carole Leskin

cmaleskin@gmail.com

July 2020

YBALONE

About Carole Leskin
Carole Leskin is a retired director of global human resources. Embarking on a second career as a writer and photographer concentrating on her personal accounts of aging, her essays and poetry, frequently accompanied by her photos, are published regularly in Jewish Sacred Aging, Starts At 60, Navigating Aging ( a Kaiser Health publication) Women's Older Wisdom, and Time Goes By. Her poems, Father Time and Carole's Debate were selected for inclusion in the 2019 anthologies of poetry, New Jersey Bards. Her photos have been featured in Mart R Porter Nature Forum. She is the founder of the blog YBAlone, which focuses on the challenges of growing older, especially for those who live alone with no family or support system, an issue that affects her personally.

4 Comments

  1. Once again, thank you Carole! I was right there with you by the stream and the birds. Congratulations on your victory. And what a High Holiday allegory as well! And what is aging if not ‘taking our time and savoring every minute’.

  2. Dr. Gail Bienstock August 30, 2020 at 3:03 pm

    It’s been years since the uneventful surgeries. One came still resided I in the car trunk; the other in the house. Neither has been used in years, but I’ll never forget the joy, oride and sense of triumph of that first successful caneless walk around the neighborhood.
    Yasser koach!

  3. Thank you Gail for sharing in my sense of victory! I appreciate it.

What are your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

×
Sign up for the Jewish Sacred Aging email mailing list
Our New 2020 Mailing List is here
%d bloggers like this: