Friday, October 07, 2011

Morning Walk

My doctor told me that I should walk every day.  In the heat of the summer, I could have done better.  When I was in Manhattan recently, maybe I made up for it.  I must have walked miles every day.  I love everything about Manhattan.  You cannot walk five feet without seeing something interesting.
So, this morning I gathered the few things I need for my walk.  I took my camera, some film, my glasses and hat.  And off I went.  Walking usually gives rise to thinking.  But not a worrisome kind of thinking.  It is the kind of thinking that touches on thoughts and then lets them go.  Thoughts seem to fade into one another as I move along.
I headed out one of the back doors of the monastery and headed in the direction of the retreat house.  It is a sunny day, and the light and shadows were beautiful earlier this morning as they played off each other on the sandy white walls of the retreat house.  I stopped and took some pictures, trying to be conscious of the interplay of the shadows, the light and the beauty in between.  I finished up there and then walked down the path to the heavy equipment area, where we keep the tractors and other heavy equipment.  As I approached the large garage, I heard noise.  Someone was fixing a tire.  So I walked into the barn and saw Pee Wee and Oscar, two men who have worked for us for years, fixing a wheel on the tractor.  We chatted a bit.  I looked about and immediately thought of Damian.  His handiwork was everywhere – on the walls, the doors, the floor, in cabinets and on shelves.  Damian was a monk and a good friend of mine.  He died a few years ago.  Looking about the large area in the garage, I had the feeling that he might walk around the corner any moment.  His memory is still vivid to me.   I can easily see his face, hear his voice, remember his comments, his joy and sense of humor.  I told Pee Wee and Oscar how the place so brought him to my mind and they nodded in unison.  “Damian was a good man.  A good man.  Smart, too.  He could fix anything,” Pee Wee said.
I asked if I could take their pictures.  I did not use a flash, and relied upon the available light.  I hope I got the settings right on the camera.  I snapped away as Oscar and Pee Wee went about their work.  I feel much at ease with them, much at home with them.
Pee Wee offered to drive me back to the main building.  I should have walked, but felt lazy.  It was starting to get hot and I did not refuse the ride.
Pee Wee got behind the wheel and I climbed in next to him.  I noticed his graying hair.  He talked of some aches and pains as we drove back.  He said he gets shots for the pain. I told him I hoped whatever shots he was being given for the pain work. 
I thanked him for the ride.
So many people to thank.  For such simple, but wondrous things.  A ride back.  A pose for a picture. The remembrance of Damian.  All he was, all he did.  Many and simple things, for others.
I caught it all, in the light I had available. 
I know more will come.  More light.  More beauty.

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