Celebrating by Pat Ramsey

Today, walking my dog,

 my legs and feet would not cooperate

 and I felt that old fear creeping up

 to smack me……..

 so instead I salute and celebrate them.

 

 Little mountain girl

 with flashing brown legs and nimble feet

 and more nimble brain

 going down every road

 my mother swore I could not pass up;

 feet that carried me over broken down fences

 by mountain streams and poplar groves

 hanging by my legs to look upside down

 to where I had come from;

 climbing as high as I dared

 then on to deeper woods

 by houses long deserted

 and then flying home to heart and love.

 

 City girl, going down roads

 my mother still said I could not resist,

 into other people’s yards filled

 with violets to pick

 an old woman screaming at me

 (I didn’t know you couldn’t do that in the city);

 flying on my bike

 strong legs pumping to my newly discovered joy

 the public library

 devouring the Mary Poppins books

 (my teacher had read only a bit every day to us)

 jumping to David Copperfield and finding

 a key to one of my passions

 caring and loving forgotten children;

 coming off Iroquois Park hill

 and loving the reckless feeling

 of danger as I hurdled down sharp curves.

 discovering soccer and softball

 fishing which I loved most,

 building dams now in the woods

 where we had moved back to.

 

 Finding a partner

 and making strong lovely babies

 who found their own legs

 and I continued to follow those roads

 where I had never been.

 

 So many places, too many to say,

 so many loves (sisters and parents and friends)

 including John Ledford who loved

 coming off that Iroquois Park hill

 as much as I.

 

 My feet carried me to Holland

 to friends there

 and other roads I had not seen

 and new friends to love.

 

 Now my feet have slowed

 giving up gardening, travels

 (oh, I miss those unknown roads)

 now they slow even more with a threat of

 being still forever in a chair.

 

 But as I walk my dog and feel the fear

 of that old prophecy of doctors long ago

 I do not look with sorrow to my future

 I celebrate my past

 my glorious legs and feet

 following my restless, adventurous brain.

 

 The Holy Spirit has shown me

 invisible, mystical, wonderful roads

 knowing I would not turn them down.

 I, always, saying “who knows what lies there?”