“The f#+% wants me to walk”, I complained to my group. Midweek it was, at a men’s discussion group, and I’d been to the doctor. “Twice a week!”, I exclaimed. “Who has time?”

He approached me at meeting’s end — hand outstretched.

“I’ll walk with you.” How ‘bout this weekend?”

8 AM we convened days later! Outdoors on a December Saturday in globally warmed Cleveland. (Sundays came later). Bill T and me … walking the mall, talking, sharing in a manner physically beneficial and emotionally therapeutic. Indeed: just what the doctor’d ordered.

Truth was I was hurting but didn’t quite know why.

Out-of-sync. Out of rhythm. Reasonably happy, irrationally struggling — instinctively pushing, stepping, marching.


I had Michael, Vegas, Stacy, Facetime … and Carrie. I had family, friends, fellowship and fun.

Even more so, clearly, I had footwork to be done, and “miles to go before I sleep”.

Still the weeks sped by. Slowly. Often arduously. As I trudged.

— To meetings I enjoyed and to meetings I didn’t.
— To rehearsals I loathed full of people I liked in a play that I loved.
— Through the splendor and wonder and yes, ardor of life.

Off my game, but not off the tracks. Out of stride, but not out of spirit. To some it was obvious and to others, imperceptible. But I knew and she knew.

And He knew.

(Ed. Note: I talk to the guys I sponsor about “rhythm”. How it’s vital to have a pace to life: a regimen… a regularity… a tempo … a flow. Where, I was asking myself, was mine?).

Was it the loss of an aunt? The health of my loved ones? The erosion of purpose?

Perhaps the plateau of pleasure?

And then — OVERNIGHT — my fever broke!

Was it the music of my brother’s email? Ermine reaching out? Snyder making me laugh?

Was it the pics of New York grandsons? Chicago granddaughters? The play’s final curtain?

For some reason, instantaneously — call it “Daylife Savings” — sun returned. In some way, ‘though I barely noticed, my pulse returned.

I was breathing not the schism of my old office but the fresh air in the new. I was bouncing through my day — not trekking through its hours.

I was embracing, once more, the ordinary.

And smiling.

The heart of winter is winking at the light of spring, and me? I’m meeting Bill T 8AM tomorrow to go walking.

And to share.

—Because one night he reached out

“In 3 words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”                                                                                                                         

                             Robert Frost


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