Tuesday, October 04, 2011

They turn and wave


Risa is in Florida assisting her parents. Twice a day, to keep herself mentally and physically healthy, she walks through the retirement park to the river and back, a distance of just under six miles a day. There is a dock at the turnaround point, and sometimes there is a heron there to greet her.

The park's not unattractive, and there are live oaks with Spanish moss along almost the entire route. She dresses in white, with a white hat, and ambles along at a reasonable pace, using a favorite cane so as not to build up too much fluid on her left knee. She carries water. The hottest day last week was 98F, so the walks are very early and very late. She thinks about Dogen as she walks, who said "You must let fall (release) body and mind." Curbing one's expectations while retaining one's courage and perseverance is key.

Most people remain indoors in this park, watching television. It is a waiting place, with a hint of sadness. But sometimes some step out to visit neighbors. As Risa passes by, they turn and wave.

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