Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The sound of walking

After working at home in the morning, I decided to take a walk to the grocer. It’s not far, maybe a few miles, round trip. The hill from our driveway to the main road was steeper than I remembered because I’ve had hardly any exercise since coming back from summer travels. My legs pulled me up the slope.

I’d forgotten that the Speedo flip-flops that cushion my heels also blister the top of my foot where the strap crosses the arch. Halfway to the store, I took off my shoes. Oh, the sound of walking, the thud of the heel bone hitting sun-warmed pavement, that travels up the spine to the base of my skull. The shhhhh of not lifting high enough so that the foot slides across an elevation in asphalt. And the swish of grass slipping between toes when cleaning the feet to go back into the shoes. After that, the clup clup of rubber landing on the hard, polished floor of the QFC was nowhere nearly as interesting.

A body’s ability to filter and ignore unneeded stimulus – visual, auditory, or tactile – is amazing. It’s good to hear cars driving up, to measure with the eye how high a step is, and feel the ground under my soles. I got to thinking how overwhelming it would be see, hear, and feel everything, all the time, all at once.

And how wrapped up we get by letting in things that don’t matter. Mind clutter. Spiritual junk. Once in a while it’s good to take the mind’s shoes off and listen for what’s going on. To appreciate what we take for granted. What we don’t need to pay attention to. To filter so that we can focus on what is true, and right, and beautiful, and holy.

Read more:
Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth.
Worship the Lord with gladness; come before him with joyful songs. Know that the Lord is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations. Psalm 100 NIV

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