Just came in from about a 1.5 mile walk. Originally I was planning to hit the gym today but the weather is spectacular. It’s 57 degrees outside (that’s 14 C for those of you who live in the developed world). In March. In Maine. So my inner Mom said, “Go play outside! It’s too beautiful to stay in!” and since I’ve pretty much turned into my mother these past few years, how could I disagree?
Right now I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood that is perfect for walking: we have wide sidewalks on the main roads, and quiet side-streets that don’t need sidewalks. It’s safe enough to wear an iPod (though I don’t) and has a good number of folks who are friendly enough to wave hello and smile to passers-by.
So I’m in the home stretch of my walk, meaning the last quarter-mile or so, which is a gentle hill but it’s a whole quarter-mile of hill, so I can make it as challenging as I want. Today I had decided ahead of time that I wasn’t going to push too hard; my walk was to be all about the birds, the warm sun, and all the other signs of spring. Besides, my jacket was feeling a bit too warm, though the tank top underneath would not have been enough to stay warm, and the dilemma of whether to take my jacket off was making this last part of the walk a little less fun. I actually started to inwardly whinge a little about being uncomfortable.
Then I see her.
There’s a lady on the other side of the main road, in jeans and a brown hoodie, listening to her iPod and just rocking the hell out. She’s about my age, and she is moving with unabashed joy. She moves her whole body to a rhythm that only she can hear, walking backwards then forwards, snapping her fingers, swaying her hips from side to side, shimmying her shoulders to the beat, and clearly not giving a damn what anyone else thinks of it.
She is beautiful.
We’re on opposite sides of a busy road, and she’s about 50 yards in front of me. I’m not going to run up to her (that would be weird) but all of a sudden it’s important to me to make some contact — a wave or a thumbs-up, to show how much I appreciate seeing someone who is the epitome of joyful movement. So I speed up, but alas even though her dance steps put her at a slightly slower pace than mine, I do not get close enough to catch her eye by the time I reach my house at the top of the hill. But my heart is beating faster than it would have otherwise, for the hurrying, and I have forgotten about whether I’m feeling too hot or too cold.
Thanks happy dancing lady, whoever you are!