It turns out, Cordova, just outside of Memphis has all the parks we could want in one place, Shelby Farms Park. Look it up - it's 4,500 acres of undeveloped land with a small river, trails, horseback riding and on and on and on.
I am learning, homesick has to be replaced with searching out new adventures and just like our little yorkie, Cooper, has to pee on every rock, stick, and fence to lay claim to the territory, we must lay claim to what is available. Thank goodness we can do this mentally without all the peeing. So we headed out to the park to "do" the walk by the river.
This is actually a little lake off to the side but you get the point, this is nature and nature is nurture, at least for country girls raised on the farm. Winding trails through the trees and lots of other walkers and riders and runners. This is how to shake the blues GET OUT OF THE DAMN HOUSE. Find things to feed the soul, find new passions, sweat out the grief and replace it with the peace of knowing you gave your body a gift. Know that when you see your loved ones again they will be comforted knowing you are taking care of yourself. These are the things I told myself as we walked yesterday and I believe I was right.
Now for the rest of the story as the late Paul Harvey would say...Funny, the things you think about when you are walking, sweating, hurting, okay agonizing. It is like the brain is on auto pilot as it fills and empties and fills again.
As we were walking this amazing trail, in this lush wooded park, the pain in my hips made me pause for reflection. Tight and unaccustomed to so much exercise they began burning, as if to scream at me and refuse to perform to the degree I was requesting...in my mind I started singing Shakira's Hips Don't Lie. I laugh at myself while doing this. I can be so strange for sure but I'm thinking as the song plays - these hips are telling the truth - I am sooo out of shape. We continue on our journey and the song continues to spin in my head. Maybe the lyrics are not all that great but I let it spin around in my head anyway. It fits. It's true.
Your body does not lie to you or to others. It reveals even your dirty little secrets. This is the shame of being overweight. The whole world knows that somewhere in your life things are mucked up. Those that care about you know this as well as the fact that you are killing yourself and they must wonder why you don't seem to care about that. As a former skinny girl, I realize most people don't really care and don't think twice about it but as a now heavy girl I know, some people do.
If the hips weren't enough to remind me just how real things are, the broken sunlight shining through the trees was enough. Enough, enough. Walking on this lovely day, in a beautiful setting, with happy thoughts and even embracing the pain of the out of shape struggle, I am brought into reality in one swift kick to the head. I see my shadow. It is taunting me as it walks before me now, our backs are to the sun. I can hardly bear to look to at it but I cannot escape it. It is round and full where it was once long and lean.
This is the reality of me. I do not want to forever cast that shadow. I want my old shadow back, the real me. I want to stop avoiding having my picture captured because I can't stand to have my weight on record, because I can't stand to look at the images of me so spun out of control.
Shakira baby, you are right, the hips don't lie and neither does that double wide shadow. Let's fix this!
That's all ~ thanks y'all!