Monday, October 30, 2006

Jeans and Walking Shoes

I love my jeans. All of them. But the pair I wore yesterday especially.

They fit. Perfectly. They are long in the leg, and when you are 5 foot 9 inches tall that counts for something. The waistband moulds itself to the body without being too tight and the now-faded blue denim is soft against the skin. There is a patch on the left knee where I fell over and tore the fabric after slipping on wet leaves. I’ll continue patching them for as long as necessary.

They have magical properties. I put them on and suddenly become strong, confident and at ease. When I’m happy in my own skin they make me feel really good. At other times I end up feeling better.

Sunny and warm with a cloudless blue sky, yesterday's weather somehow matched the jeans. I had to be in Chelsea by late morning and thanks to the clock change was up and ready far too early. There was time to go on foot. I changed into walking shoes and headed out the door.

The combination of a long stride and an impatient nature means that I set a faster pace than most. Across the common I overtook dog walkers and parents with small children, continued past the bandstand and the outdoor cafe ....

I'd found my rhythm.

Walking is a favourite therapy, always has been. It's liberating. I know myself to be free, dependent on nothing and no-one to get where I want to go. Stepping out yesterday in the autumn sunshine with the sound of church bells in the distance, feeling momentarily at one with the world, the cheap, comfortable shoes seemed to have grown invisible wings.

A weakness in my lumbar spine has caused me two serious and prolonged bouts of back trouble. On both occasions I was confined to the house for months and each time I wondered if my walking days were over.

So much is difficult and stressful at the moment. No certainties. Much indecision. Some fear.

But I'm also very, very lucky.

Click to enlarge photos.


Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Walking as therapy...oh yes! And you descibe the power and freedom perfectly M.

12:16 pm  
Blogger Jess D'Zerts said...

Ah, comfort clothes, comfort shoes, and perfect weather for walking. I went yesterday too. It was great. You're so right about walking--it really loosens up all the stuff that gets stuck in your head--so empowering, and grounding at the same time.

12:44 pm  
Blogger Sky said...

sounds like a perfect day!

it is so smart of you to do the things which make you feel good and which heighten your sense of personal power during this difficult period in your life! the clothes, walking - the exercise, breathing in the air on such a beautiful clear day - it all sounds fabulous!

4:27 pm  
Blogger MB said...

How wonderful to have clothes to feel that way about! I was out walking yesterday, too, high in the hills among snow patches and bright sun, the land falling away in blues as far as the eye could see. Good for the soul no matter where you do it, I think.

4:28 pm  
Blogger rdl said...

You sound good!

9:08 pm  
Blogger Pauline said...

"I'd found my rhythm."

Dont you wish you could always find your rhythm so easily? Walking is a marvelous form of meditation. Like you, I hope I will always be independent enough to walk wherever I want to go.

10:20 pm  
Blogger starnitesky said...

The freedom of walking on a perfect day in comfortable clothes - wonderful!

9:41 pm  
Blogger zhoen said...

Funny, when my back was most acute, the only thing I could do was walk. Tiring, but not painful. I would walk to my dr. office, for the epidural injections.

11:21 pm  
Blogger Patry Francis said...

It is an uncertain time for all of us in some way, though the specifics are different.

What can we do? Keep wearing the jeans that make us feel strong and centered. Keep walking. Keep holding hands.

4:31 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Thanks everyone.

HHB: Best therapy I know.

Jess: My experience exactly ..

Sky: Fabulous it was.

MB: Another happy walker :-)

Rdl: yeah, kind of. ;-)

Pauline: having had periods without that independence I treasure it now ...

Starnitesky: you're exactly right.

Zhoen: I've known friends with back problems who had the same experience as you. Walking was the only thing they could do ....

Patry: You are so right.

12:39 pm  
Blogger leslee said...

Heh. I love my jeans, too, and I'm always so so sad when a favorite pair finally wears out. Hard to find another pair that fits well, and then there's the breaking in period. Best of luck with your walks. It's also my favorite therapy. My knees sometimes worry me, though. May they (and your healthy back) last much longer than favorite jeans.

10:53 pm  
Blogger Tarakuanyin said...

Beautiful piece. I love walking too, and outwalk most people most of the time. I feel so strong when I can walk. Irish beaches, Irish hills, Irish forests -- all so beautiful for walking. I miss them all. Thanks for reminding me, even if England is across the water a bit!

12:22 am  
Blogger Mary said...

Tarakuanyin: I've walked a bit in Ireland too. Inishowen in Donegal, around Galway and around Tralee. I've promised myself I'll go back .....

2:56 pm  
Blogger [a} said...

yay! that elusively perfect pair of jeans..

3:34 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

(ni) Thank you and welcome!

6:27 am  
Blogger Fashion said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

6:11 pm  
Blogger Fashion said...

Hey!!! That looks exactly same like my stolen shoes... lol I'm gonna buy a pair of Timberland Shoes for this christmas... But will certainly lock it in my bank locker...

6:12 pm  

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