Wiley's Wisdom

Joy: From the Ground Up

A Man’s Best Medicine March 10, 2015

It’s not the first time it’s happened, but it might be the most memorable time to date.

“Today this little guy doesn’t have many big thoughts. Instead I have gratitude.”

Two years ago (almost to the day), I spoke these words in reference to a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It was 40 degrees, and I was cold, but it was the first time my dear forever mom and I got outside for a decent walk since before her knee surgery. Recovery from that surgery was an experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy, so it was especially meaningful for us to hit the road again that day. A beautiful day

Today it happened again. Recovery wasn’t an issue this time, unless you count the emotional recovery from the winter doldrums we Wisconsinites all experienced for the last several months.

Instead it was simply joy. From the ground up, that is what filled my heart when dad (of all people) said the magic words. “Do you want to go for a walk?” I’m never sure why he and mom ask me such silly questions when they already know the answer.

Off we went, dear baby Carter and mom and dad and I, together, on a quick jaunt through the neighborhood. It was almost 60 degrees this time, and (while I love my alone time with mom) it was nice to be with everyone. Carter babbled in a language only he (and sometimes mom) understands the entire way. And mom and dad laughed, happy to be breathing in the fresh spring air.

Ancient Greek physician and philosopher Hippocrates took it so far as to suggest that “walking is man’s best medicine.” Today I soaked up the medicine, just as I did two years ago. And in doing so, I must have brought my mental motion to a halt because all I could think was how happy I was to be on the road again. Gratitude.

From the ground up, today I find myself thankful. Thankful for the weather. And the sunshine. And the way it warms hearts and minds. But, even more so, thankful for the people that bring it all to life.

 

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood March 8, 2013

This little guy doesn’t have big thoughts today. Instead I have gratitude.It's a Beautiful Day!

I felt a spark of it earlier today when I noticed something funny about this time of year. No one wants to wear coats anymore. After what felt like a lifetime of dreary winter days, it was 40 degrees and sunny in Wisconsin today. And you’d better believe mom “forgot” her winter coat at home when she went back to work after lunch.

Coat dilemma aside, the spark caught fire that kept me pretty warm. Mom and I went on our first long walk around the neighborhood since before her knee surgery back in November. And before that, our walks were increasingly infrequent because of the issues she had with her knee.

Well we tested that fancy new knee out today. How I’ve missed the wind blowing in my hair as I impulsively mark my territory on anything upright! (I’m kind of a naughty boy in that regard, but only when I’m outside). I’ve missed the smells, the sunshine and the way my mom’s face lights up when I react to the magic w-a-l-k word! Most of all, I’ve missed the thinking I do on our walks.

Maybe my little racing heart brings life to my brain somehow, I don’t know. What I do know is that I do some of my best thinking when I’m moving. Call it spiritual inertia. I couldn’t wait to get back at it.

Ancient Greek physician and philosopher Hippocrates took it so far as to suggest that “walking is man’s best medicine.” Today I soaked up the medicine. In doing so, I must have brought my mental motion to a halt because all I could think was how happy I was to be on the road again. Gratitude.

Because in reality, 40 degrees is still pretty darned cold to most people. Heck, a 40 degree day in October triggers the search for winter coats, mittens, hats, scarves and anything else to ward off the pending doom of the cold air. But like most things, it is all a matter of perspective. And from my ground-level perspective it really was a beautiful day in the neighborhood.