Today as I ran through the park saying “Good Morning” to everyone I passed, a song came into my head. (Earworm Alert) If you were a child of the 1950s, 60s or even 70s you may remember this song from the Cerebral Palsy telethons.
“Look at us, we’re walking,
Look at us, we’re talking,
We who never walked or talked before.
Look at us, we’re laughing,
We’re happy and we’re laughing,
Thank you from our hearts forevermore…”
This song stuck with my family. I can remember my grandmother standing behind me, holding my hands and singing her own version of it to me as I learned to walk. It was just the one line, “Look at me I’m walking. Look at me I’m walking” over and over and over… I, in turn sang it with her to all of my younger cousins and my brother as they learned how to walk.
It was a celebratory song. Look at you! You’re walking! Isn‘t it amazing? Look what your body can do! How awesome is this walking thing?!
And it was filled with hope. Wait til you see what else you can do! Your body will do so many phenomenal things! You will jump and run and dance and play and skip!
Somewhere along the way everyone starts to take the awesome walking thing for granted. Usually it’s about one month into it. No one celebrates it anymore. They move on to the next thing; holding our hands and saying “Jump! Jump! Two feet! Jump!” The wonder of walking is gone.
We should never forget the wonder of each and every thing our body does. Each thing we can do is amazing. Just the fact that we are breathing is amazing. Our bodies, these miracles of science; our hearts beat, our lungs take in air, our legs propel us around.
Near the end of every yoga class, when everyone rolls onto their right side after savasana, I ask them to take a moment to simply be grateful for their body and their breath. I also do this to remind myself every day, to be grateful, just grateful, for whatever my body can do today. Not concerned about what it can’t do. Not judgmental about how it looks. Just grateful.
These legs of mine, with their cellulite and stretch marks and spider veins are phenomenal works of art that carry me through this life. Miraculous machines that get me from place to place. This walking thing, is awesome.
As I continued through the park with the song in my head, I flashed a huge smile at each person I passed. Look at us! We’re walking!