These days, daily walks have become essential for my overall wellbeing.
I start my walk (with my little dog Bruno) and as I take each step, I feel the stress of hours of working on the computer falling away behind me.
Every day is different, as far as who I’ll see, and how we exchange eye contact… or not.
During one of my walks just after the shelter-in-place order, I made eye contact with a new mom. It had been raining, and I could tell she was desperate to get out of the house. She seemed so happy for a break in the rain so she could take her beautiful little baby outside and into the fresh, clean air. So, they went out, her in her raincoat and the baby in the stroller. I admired her spirit but knew that she must be struggling. Just being a new mom is hard enough. But add the pressure of current world events. I can’t even imagine.
I still see her on my walks, even as the days turned into weeks. And when I do, I can see her fight for that ray of light. She is struggling I’m sure, but the desire for her and her child to feel normal transcends all this global stress. She probably just wants to enjoy all those moments of being a new mom and create a sense of security for her baby’s future. And I’m in awe of her and her quiet strength… she and her baby remind me of the importance of hope. Hope gives us the power to wake up each day and try.
When I went out for my walk today, it was sunny and bright. As I turned a corner there she was. We kept our 6 feet of distance, but we exchanged more than just eye contact. We smiled at each other. She must have noticed that I had earbuds in, and she asked me what I was listening to (an audiobook), and she shared that she was also listening to an audiobook. A moment of connection from across the street.
I asked how she was feeling. She paused for a moment, but then answered, “Hopeful.” I replied, “Your sentiment gives me hope, too!”
We laughed, said our goodbyes, and continued on our walks… Hopeful for the future.
The original blog was published in the Salimpour School blog on April 24, 2020.