Wednesday, May 27, 2015

In Praise of Companions; Mixed Reviews on the Rain

A number of experts will tell you that one of the most successful factors in weight loss or any other exercise program is community. Having at least one partner in the exercise process has many benefits. However, as I've said here before, my main motivations for walking have been my spiritual and mental health, and the physical benefits have merely accentuate the first two. On the other hand I have walked more recently with a friend, and though I end up going much faster and elevating my heart rate, thus producing lots of good sweat, it is also been good to chat with someone about the stresses of work in a place that's not work, and talk to a friend who can laugh with you and help you laugh at yourself.

In the past few days we have had an uncharacteristic amount of rain. While it has been much needed in our drought-stricken state, it has also brought with it several unwelcome side effects: mosquitoes on the track, soggy shoes on unfamiliar paths, and worst of all, pictures of snakes on social media. I had been thinking lately about how an awareness of death has helped me be less phobic. Then this.

And so again, I alter my course as I take pre-dawn walks, chastising myself for letting such worries get the best of me, patting myself on the back for not volunteering to be the first person in Texas in over a century to be found lying dead of a snakebite in a field only a few yards from home.

porches and streets littered
with storm cut branches darkened
by lightless summer nights
now i hear birds arguing
and thank God i am awake