And maybe there are seasons
And maybe they change
And maybe to love is not so strange
The sounds of the day
They hurry away
Now they are gone until tomorrow
When day will break
And you will wake
And you will rake your hands
Across your eyes
That it's going to be a day
There is really no way to say no
To the morning
~ Dan Fogelberg, “To the Morning”
Walking has always been my touchstone. It has become that place I know I can go to remind myself of what is real, true, possible. I’m blessed with a walk most every morning. I park in the employee deck and walk on a road cut through woods about a mile to work at the hospital. There are buses carrying folks passing by, but for more than half of the walk, there are only sounds of the woods waking up. What a gift to begin the day this way. “It’s going to be a day, there is really no way to say no to the morning….”
Dan Fogelberg (God rest his sweet soul) was in his heyday when I was in college. He was a Peoria boy, so many of his songs rang true with his Midwestern sisters and brothers. He sang songs about falling in love and out and back again. Souvenirs speaks to his gift as poet, “And here is the key to a house far away where I used to live as a child. They tore down the building when I moved away and left the key unreconciled.” He sang a remarkable song, Leader of the Band about his love for his father. And in To the Morning, he sang a song acknowledging the hopeful truth about morning's faithful coming, "It’s going to be a day, there is really no way to say no to the morning….”
We all have things we do, practices that bring us balance. My father’s was playing the piano late into the night. For Gamma Gamma it’s sewing costumes for everyone in the school play. And for me it’s walking. Maybe I love walking because it invites me to see things differently. Maybe it’s because I remind myself that I can (literally) get from here to there and back again. Maybe it’s because, in walking I am reminded of the importance and the gift of breathing. Maybe reasons vary or they really don’t matter. I just know that I am better for walking. Every time.
There are hills all along the way on this trek from the parking deck to the hospital. Most every morning, I’ve taken to the habit of pausing at the middle of the bridge that crosses over a railroad track. Most every morning as I am pausing to catch my breath, I take a picture of what the sky looks like as the sun is coming up. And most every day I give thanks for this remarkable gift of being able to participate in this practice of walking. Two new knees, healed and now healthy lungs, a good strong heart. So much to be thankful for. And I welcome her coming, this new morning. And most every morning I hope to live into this gift given. “It’s going to be a day, there is really no way to say no to the morning….”
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Working in Family Experience at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta, Lesley is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. A Candler School of Theology graduate, Lesley has just published her second book, Grief and the Psalms: Companioning the Moon for 29 Days (available on this website). She and her partner, Linda Ellis are raising their two sons, Brogan and Sam in Decatur, GA.