bike path with daisies

Along the three-mile stretch of the Alyeska Highway that unfurls from the base of the mountain and leads to the sea is a wide paved path. The path is separated from the road by a ditch full of daises in the summer. Double-wide strollers are accompanied by their doting Labradoodles and free-range parents in Carhartts and ball caps stop to banter. Bikers are hassled by huskies who cannot be contained and  The path is the way to the bike shop, the mercantile, the Laundromall, the library, and the playground. It’s the aorta of this little town. 

Dave and I would walk there, coming down from our den that butted up against the old-growth which is now home to slope-side condos with smart technology. We’d slog across the bog or, when it was so deep that my X-tra Tuffs would even get swamped, we’d walk to the corner. Across the winding road that led to the hotel was the relative safety of the wide path where he could prance and sniff and I could talk to my mom. 

She never seemed to get used to me being on the move. With her typical wide-eyed amazement, she would comment on it and seem delighted. I never really knew if I was just so different from everything else that she knew to be the subject of her fascination or if this is just how moms are. While I don’t doubt that may well have been part of our dynamic, I have always had a sense, since I strode confidently out of the nest (and promptly faceplanted,) that I might be her emissary. One time, watching me cut open an avocado she marveled “Where did you learn to eat those?” How small was her world? 

Though I walked at a relaxing pace on the path and was careful with my attention, she always knew that I was moving. I could picture her, legs stretched out on the old plaid couch, feet in constant motion, rubbing up against each other with the familiar comfort of lifelong companions. 

It was there on that path, with a brand new cell phone in hand (it was the early 2000s) that I talked about work and friends and births and deaths and weddings and miscarriages and arthritis. I talked to my sister, for the first time in a decade, about sending her daughter the flute that had been handed down to me from our cousins, and thought my fingers might snap off due to Reynaud’s. I went to get the mail and walked back home. 

Path as destination

These corridors through our neighborhoods cut through our days. They create grooves that produce music and make marks on our hearts. 

The movement that accompanied these conversations might have been what made them possible. My mom on the couch moved her feet, and I, on the path from the mountain to the sea did the same. 

Bodies in motion manifest potential. They make meaning out of the energy that enlivens and inspires. They give us both the pathways to process and the ability to actualize the ideas that our parents and grandparents, teachers and coaches, and our own creative and dynamic selves have had.

Without movement, simple as it may be, we easily get stuck, stew, fester, ferment. A walk, a salute to the sun, a gaze that sweeps right to left and then skyward… and countless other ways of moving can start the shift. From out of the shadows, hovels, and depths of our minds we emerge when we move. 

Consistently showing up on this dynamic path can be either the hardest or the easiest thing to realize that we are doing here.

Make is simple. It’s profound. 

Similar Posts