There was a book I read when I was maybe 7 or 8 in which the boy character is taking a walk with his father. The boy tries to match his father’s stride, to place his feet right alongside his dad’s. I have a very clear image of taking a walk with my own dad after I read the book and trying to keep pace like the boy did. Of course my shorter legs couldn’t quite keep up.
As an adult, I turned into a hyper-speed walker. I can’t seem to help myself–I go on a walk with someone and without even meaning to, I’m blasting along at mach-10, leaving most other people in the dust. I think I got it from my late dad, because when he was younger and still robust, we’d take walks together and neither one of us had trouble keeping up with the other. My two sons walk like I do. None of us seem to know how to meander.
This came to mind the other night as my husband and I were leaving the “dance barn” where we do international folk dance on Friday nights. The “dance barn” is an outbuilding on the 20+ acres of property owned by some friends of ours. The space we dance in is a converted goat barn (no joke), hence the name “dance barn.” And although it’s not exactly out in the middle of nowhere (the freeway is only a couple of miles away), when we turn out the lights, it’s pitch black outside.
So there I was Friday night with the flashlight, leading my husband through the darkness. Except my legs didn’t know how to keep pace with him. They just kept striding along at my usual mach-10, not only leaving him in the dust, but in the dark as well. I had to keep reminding myself to sl-o-o-o-w down so he could see where he was walking.
I felt kind of bad about that. But it was a nice memory of my dad, and those long ago walks we used to take.