Vicki Cabot

Counting the days

Time to change course
Photo courtesy Vicki Cabot
Time to change course. Photo by Vicki Cabot

An unexpected tumble.
A glimpse of an errant blossom on the road, a tug on the leash, a pup in pursuit, and there I was splayed on the sidewalk.

A scraped knee, a bloody knuckle, a bruised hip.
A safe dog, and me, none the worse for the wear.
But grateful.
And running through my head, the words in the morning prayers, please, GD, firm my footsteps.

Resonating especially now.
Especially at this time of the year.
When we’re tracking footsteps, counting foot falls.
In days and weeks, 49 days, seven weeks, from Passover to Shavuot, from freedom to responsibility, and the receiving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai.

And not just measuring out the journey but measuring out how we measure our days.
How we walk in this world, what paths we’ve taken, what paths lie ahead.
And what firms our steps.

And so it is that again, I marvel at the wisdom of our tradition, its set times for reflection, its stories that inspire introspection.

And change.

So as I counted out the days, I nursed my wounds.

And thought about my early morning walks.

Me and my dog.

Not sure who was walking who.

Getting me up and out in the early morning light.
The fresh air, the quiet time.
To just be.

Aware of every living, moving being.

That might cross our path.

A bird, a bunny, a blossom. Catching his eye, then mine.

Chasing, leaving me in the dust, or on the sidewalk.

Now, healing, walking alone.

Missing the pull on the lead, the company of a furry companion.
Not as much fun.
Not as much joy.

Less worry, less risk.

But still.

Reluctantly changing my route.
Avoiding those busy thoroughfares with their early morning traffic.
The pick ups in a hurry.
The huge tractor trailers.
The speedsters in their fancy sports cars.

Grabbing the leash, plotting new paths.
On quiet neighborhood streets.
The canal banks.
Nearby mountain trails.

Firming my footsteps.
Changing course.

And, so as Shavuot arrives, I’m thinking about the journey ahead.

About the need to change, to alter my path, to seek out another.
About the passage of time and the road ahead.

That will rise up to meet me.
And lead me on.

May it be so.

About the Author
A writer and editor, Vicki has been recognized for excellence by the American Jewish Press Association, Arizona Press Club and Arizona Press Women. Her byline has appeared for more than 30 years in Jewish News of Greater Phoenix and in a variety of other publications. A Wexner Heritage Scholar, she holds masters degrees in communications and religious studies from Arizona State University and a Ph.D in religious studies also from ASU.
Related Topics
Related Posts