Monday, July 4, 2022

Walking and Laughing


Since the pandemic, I've noticed a more active group of walkers within my neighborhood. I used to run religiously, but it took its toll on my knee, so now I try to walk every day between 6 and 7 am as the sky turns bright (it's like God is turning the lights on for the day). 

We walkers all start to notice each other and strike up conversations. Meet some of my neighbors:
Susie - who always greets me like I'm a celebrity who made her day. She always has a bright smile, waves, and says, "Hi, Andree (that's me)." Her greeting makes my walk lighter. She is 72.

Peggy - a widow, walks her dog Grayson every day. We started talking after her husband passed away some years ago and have become a part of each other's lives. She has the most beautiful silver-grey hair I have ever seen. Peggy is 70.

Phil - walks around the block; first, he walks his little dog, then he comes back and makes a couple of loops. He's retired and is probably in his late 60s.

Sam and Claire. He does this thing where he hops from the sidewalk to the street; she walks a straight line in the road in deep concentration. Every day they start at 6:00 am because he still goes to work. To think, when I first saw them, I thought they were unfriendly. We hadn't seen each other in a while and recently when we did we hugged! They've been married for almost 50 years.

Trish and Steve - I met them initially in 2020 at the start of the pandemic. Every morning we chatted and connected. Then in 2021 I never saw them. This morning for the first time in over a year, we reconnected with hugs and smiles. She still works as a teacher in LAUSD; when classes returned to campus it was too difficult to squeeze their walk in so early. But now that it's summer, they can get their early walk in. They've been married 30-plus years and have two grown sons.

Recently, I met another walker. He was ending as I was starting (I got a late start today). We got to chatting; he's lived here for 40 years! He looked good, so I asked him his age. He is 82.

Intermingled with all of this walking are smiles and laughter.

Sometimes life seems so dull, so bland, so uneventful. During those times, laughter does a body good like good medicine. Recently, my husband and I went on a double date with my neighbors to a clean comedy show at our church. It was so much fun, and we laughed so hard, even when the jokes weren't hitting right. Laughter does a body good. Clearly, walking also works wonders. Age may dictate how we respond, but if we keep moving, we'll have a better response.

These two things are doing wonders for my disposition! Most days, there are so many heavy events that take a mental toll. My daily prayer, whether walking or doing anything else, is that God's love shines through me. Sometimes I'm amazed at my boldness in chatting with my neighbors, the depth of conversation, and the smiles and laughter that ensue. When I think back, it's only God making me smile. Laughter lightens the load and makes the walk more bearable.

I look forward to the early morning; it's my time to meet God and my neighbors while injecting some levity into this crazy world.

Why, my soul, are you so dejected? Why are you in such turmoil? Put your hope in God, for I will still praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalms 42:5

A joyful heart makes a face cheerful, but a sad heart produces a broken spirit. Proverbs 15:13

I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you John 15:11,12

Are you walking and laughing?

--Nylse

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13 comments:

  1. I am walking - but not laughing ... so I need to do more of that :0)

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  2. Beautiful post, Nylse, wonderful way to connect!

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  3. Nylse, this is such a refreshing post. I felt like I was on a walk with you. I so enjoyed hearing about the friendships you made on your walks and the laughter within
    Thank you for linking up with Sweet Tea & Friends this month.

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  4. How encouraging to connect with people on your walks, Nylse! you are a blessed woman!

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  5. Hi Nylse, I am visiting from over at sweet tea and friends link-up. Its so funny that I have found your blog post now. Isn't God so cool when it comes to timing? I am re-learning that God gave us laughter and no matter how the world looks right now, He wants us to live and enjoy our lives to His glory. Loved your post and meeting your neighbours. Also, I am inspired to go walk already!!!
    God bless
    Tracy

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  6. What a great post. I loved learning about your walking neighbors and their current lives.

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  7. I too am an avid walker and have been for years. You are so right, bcz of covid restrictions being eased, I have met ppl on my route that I never knew before-what a pleasure! And if no conversations occur, I walk and talk with my Father, an even greater daily pleasure! Happy walking...

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  8. Nylse, I’m impressed that you know so many of your neighbors’ names and stories … they sound like a wonderful group of people. I pass many of the same people each day when I’m running on the trail by my house, and just the other day, I stopped and introduced myself to one of them. Thanks for inspiring me to do this more often … that kind of human interaction is truly energizing, even if it’s just for a moment.

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  9. Nylse, I enjoyed reading your post. We sometimes walk in our neighborhood between 6:00am and 7:00am as the sun is rising. It is so refreshing, and we enjoy greeting some of our neighbors also. You're right about the laughing, or at least smiling, benefit. It certainly does lift your mood and the mood of those you greet, if you just take time to smile. Many blessings to you :)

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  10. I agree both of those things make me feel so much better!

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  11. Nylse, what a sweet post. I need to reach out more to people I pass each day. Thankfully, my husband doesn't know a stranger, as they say, so he pulls me along when I'm deep in my own thoughts. :)

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  12. Neighbors on walks - who stop and talk, are such blessing! What a sweet community you have - and all because you reach out, too!

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  13. Hi Nylse. How great though art!!!. I am so lonely and while reading all the beautiful prayers I came upon your sooo uplifting blog. Your stories and your cheerful spirit has feeled me with new hope. My prayers were answered today, God knows all our needs, He hears our prayers and so He directed me to your blog. Thank you and may Our Lord Bless You always and keep you healthy and Joyfull for all the World to have hope for berry tomorrow in Jesus's name i pray. Helena

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