During the winter, I tend to hibernate. I stay indoors, my body temperature feels like it’s just above freezing and my metabolism rate definitely slows down. Yesterday, I came out of hibernation to enjoy lunch with a friend. As I was preparing for my outing and against my head’s advice, I stepped on the scale only to discover I had gained five pounds! During the summer, I made a commitment and began walking every morning. Once winter arrived, the cold and occasional rain had me skipping my walks; one day, then two, then three and so on. Five pounds later, I have learned it doesn’t pay to skip, it pays to walk! As warmer weather is on its way, I have recommitted to walking. My favorite place to walk is at the park by the lake. I love walking by the lake, because each morning is a new adventure. I never know who or what I will see.
One morning I came upon a turtle. He apparently had been walking on the paved path and tried to go over into the grass only to lose his balance and topple upside down (something I often fear while walking, even more so now with that extra five pounds). There he lay, his little feet flailing wildly in the air, his head poked out as if looking for help. I laughed at him for a few minutes and then flipped him over and he went on his way. My turtle sighting was fun, but there is nothing like the human species to amuse and awaken your senses. There was the morning when two hunters appeared, seemingly out of nowhere, dressed head to toe in full camouflage carrying really big guns. After a cautious, but friendly, “good morning” (and please don’t kill me being shouted in my head), I discovered how to speed walk and got the heck out of there. While the whole gun thing was a little startling, it was nothing compared to an older, unkempt fellow I encountered. He parked his pickup truck and exited carrying an inner tube. It seemed fairly normal until I noticed he was wearing only a t-shirt and his whitie-tighties. I don’t know what his plans were, but the movie playing in my head convinced me it could range from comedic to horror. I have to admit that it was a side of nature I really wish I had not seen!
Sometimes, if you are really lucky and pay attention to your surroundings, you can catch a glimpse of nature that makes you stop and bask in its glory. The morning after being treated to Captain Underpants, I noticed someone swimming toward the shoreline. As I got closer and the figure began to emerge from the water, I feared the Captain was back for a morning swim. The sun was shining directly in my eyes, so it took a few seconds to focus. It was definitely not the Captain. Instead standing just a few feet away was a toned, tanned and gorgeous young creature with a long, lean body like a Cheetah. I swear I heard the theme song from Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom playing in the background, which was probably because I felt a bit like a Cougar as I watched him run by. That was the beauty of nature at its finest and just one more reason it pays to walk. I am headed to dust off my sneakers right now!
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