Ancient Habit

A thought 

awaken you from velleity

a summon to bear fruit

you lace your shoes

you start walking, an ancient habit

fresh persuasion of open air,

feelings of space and seeing

the outdoors, vast and hospitable, 

slopping hills 

you bravely ascend steps, 

carefully accelerate descent

blistered heels and suffering knees,

and muscle burns

temporary distractions,

hesitation gradually fades

one step at a time, the trodden way

strength prospers and optimism lifts

exhilaration and healthy elements

you huddle a new circle, your kindred:

sway of stride, unhurried banter, 

their voices twinkle in greetings

you don’t have to

but you keep a journal 

the notches, tiny achievements

nourishing pastoral scenes, 

joy of jotting experiences

the long walks

you observe the olympians, 

their constancy

you wonder how they do it

the focus, the intensity

the magnitude of sacrifices

you weigh yours in gratitude

you try to understand, 

is there time to exult or console

you are in your eighties

you dare to disturb life expectancy

in full measure.

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