Today was the first day of a new school year for me. Three classes in a row from 8:15 to 12:20 on Tuesdays and Thursdays. A livable schedule. And while I will not pretend to think that is the extent of my duties, I do plan to reserve Mondays and Fridays as sacred time for me to pursue personal interests like writing and Bible study and perhaps taking my granddaughter to the local library for two-year-old read alouds.
And since this is the start of a new year... I thought it only fitting to get back into a walking regimen. I did so well at the beginning of the summer, walking 3.1 miles five days a week, but then a bum knee sidelined me for a couple of weeks and well... it is far more difficult to start a healthy routine than it is to maintain one. And while I prefer to walk in the mornings when I am a bit more alert and the midwest weather is a bit less steamy, I forced myself to head out the door this evening and begin yet again.
As I huffed and puffed along the familiar trail listening to my playlist, I noticed a bunny dart across my path; apparently I startled him as I walked by. And then I noticed another bunny quickly hop out of sight as I neared his location. I found it quite interesting that they were perfectly content in the grass next to the road with the cars zooming by, headlights shining brightly, but the rabbits were fearful of me... the lowly walker who adores animals and would not dream of harming them. Were they perhaps familiar with the traffic patterns and realize if they stay on this side of the curb they will not be harmed? Was I the unknown factor and therefore cause for suspicion?
I continued to walk on, but I could not help but wonder if perhaps I am like those little rabbits. How many times have I been scared of the unknown and shied away, when in reality there was nothing to fear. What blessings have I missed because I am not willing to stick around and take a risk? On the other hand, how comfortable have I become with the familiar, edging too close to the fine line of temptations and bad habits that if crossed could cause me great harm?
An interesting point to ponder, and when I reached home I realized that taking a walk is not only good for the body, it is good for the mind and spirit as well. Nature has a lot to teach us, if we are only willing to stop long enough to take a look.