In My Father's Footsteps
Tuesday, October 18, 2011
One of my commitments to a healthier lifestyle is to take ten to fifteen minutes of my thirty minute lunch break and get outdoors. I find the fresh air and movement helps me de-stress from whatever the morning has given me and I find myself rejuvenated and ready to tackle the second half of my day.
I’ve chosen two or three short routes to walk during this small spark streak and I try to ensure that I get out and go every weekday, rain or shine.
There is one walk, in particular, that is a favourite of mine. It doesn’t involve crossing busy streets and is located in a quiet residential area behind the school I work at. The other day, as I was walking along the second half of this route I noticed that I was walking past a house that my Mom and Dad had lived in when they first were married. The place has fallen into disrepair and the neighbourhood is probably not the safest to walk in after dark.
I continued briskly walking up the street, heading back to work, and as I walked I remembered the stories about this neighbourhood that had been told to me. I knew that not only my parents lived in this area, but that a close cousin and her family and a great-uncle had lived on the street. I couldn’t remember which house had been the uncle’s but I knew that the cousins had lived in the other half of the house that my parents had been renting from them.
I kept going along, and I thought about where my Dad would have worked at that time and remembered my Mom telling me that he worked in the Cotton Mills, way on the other side of town, and that he often walked to work, saving the money he would have spent taking the street car.
As I rounded the corner and found myself in front of the school it occurred to me that each time I walked this particular route I was actually following in my Father’s footsteps. Not only do I walk in the area that he would have walked sixty years ago, but my favourite form of exercise is walking. My Dad was a letter-carrier and walked a lot of miles in his lifetime. Guess one of his legacies to me is the joy of walking!