When we began self-isolation, I stopped walking the path along the river to get to the off-leash park near our home. Instead, I drove the five minutes it takes to get there, telling myself there were too many bicyclists and too many people on the path.
I was scared of the very air I breathed.
A couple of weeks ago, I started walking it again.
My fear still lingers. Joy of walking, being in the open air, of the tranquility of the walk keeps calming fear into quiet surrender.
My walking to the park again came about by accident.
One morning a couple of weeks ago, I’d driven over. Walked for an hour and then, when Beau and I returned to the car, I discovered I’d lost both my phone and keys.
It was a lengthy search. Beaumont was delighted of the extra time at the park as well as the imperative of walking home along the path to get C.C.s’ phone so I could go back and search and ring and listen for it ringing. With Beaumont’s assistance, of course.
Eventually, my phone and keys were found. By a fellow dog walker.
When I saw the man on the trail in the woods ahead of me, I called out and asked if he’d seen my phone. He held it out towards me, smiled and said, “It’s been ringing and I keep answering but there’s no one there.”
Sheepishly I explained what I’d done. – held it away from me so I could hear it ringing. I never thought someone would be answering, I told him.
We both laughed. I thanked him profusely (I really wanted to hug him but I couldn’t) and we went our separate ways.
The next morning I began walking to the park again.
All because the day before my lost phone and keys forced me to walk along the path and face my fear.
There are still bicyclists on the path. And other pedestrians. But I no longer view them as ‘the enemy’. Like me, they are enjoying the park. The fresh air. The river flowing.
Like me, they do not want to contact Covid, so we keep our safe distance and when bicycles approach, I step off the path to give them room.
No matter the path, fear is an awkward companion.
Fear limits our thinking, sending our thoughts in spinning circles of anguished contortions filled with dire predictions of dark and gloomy possibilities.
Fear sucks the life and breath out of our bodies.
When self-isolation first began, my fear was reasonable. Not enough was known about the virus. Being cautious, taking precautions was imperative.
I still take precautions. I’m careful about who I see. Where I go and when I’m out and about, I wear my mask. (Thanks to my friend Wendy C I have several stylish options in mask wear!)
The difference is, I have faced my fear and embraced it, thanked it for doing its best to keep me safe, and let it know that it is no longer in charge of my thoughts and actions.
And in my being in charge, I lovingly embrace my fear and acknowledge its presence while also acknowledging that compassion, light, joy, love are also present. Together, they cast a brilliant light that shines brightest when I breathe deeply into my fear and surrender it to Love.
Covid is still to be feared. Fear no longer needs to control my life.
It is my choice.
To choose Love over fear.
And when I forget, I breathe and once again walk the path back to the light so that I can begin again to choose Love over fear. Always.