I spent more than three months one year in an enforced almost immobile position because of complications from a back injury. When I finally started to recover and could be up and around again for part of the day, the recommended at home therapy was to walk as much as I was able to. As a surprise, my family decided to build a walking path that would trail around our property and wind past the nearby wooded area. They took great pains to ensure that the surface of the walking path was smooth and level and that the path would take me past the garden areas that I love and had missed so much… alongside the little babbling brook and past all the froggy activity going on around our small ponds. Their thoughtful surprise turned my daily (sometimes very difficult and painful) exercise routine into something I could actually look forward to because there was always something new going on somewhere for me to see and enjoy.
When the seasons changed and the gardens started to shut down for the winter, I had all the colorful foliage as my walking backdrop. I wondered where I would walk when there was snow on the ground, but they told me they had already thought about that, and they were confident they could keep the path open and cleared of snow. Despite the many snowstorms we had that winter, my path always was cleared and ready for me when I was ready to walk. And there was always someone willing and eager to walk around the path with me… over and over again… until my ever-increasing exercise time has been accomplished. The special closeness that we shared during these walks is something I will always cherish.
One day after yet another snowstorm, we started our journey down the path, and as I turned the first corner I was surprised to see a jaunty little snowman waiting to say hello. He was so cute and so unexpected, I burst out laughing. And then I thought about how my people had taken the time on that frigidly cold day to pack the snow into the snowman shape (because it was too cold and the snow was too dry to roll) because they wanted to give me something cheerful and happy to see on my walk. They had even managed to find a bright red detergent bottle cap to use as the snowman’s hat and had walked deeper into the snow to gather twigs and pieces of dried plant material to serve as the snowman’s features. That day each time we came around again to that point of the path, seeing the snowman made me feel happy all over again and so thankful and grateful for their thoughtfulness.
After that, many more snowmen suddenly appeared at odd points along my path. Some were destroyed by rain, but in a few days another one would pop up again, and each one always brought a smile and a lift to my spirits. And every day when I headed out for a walk on my path, I was reminded of how much I am loved. And that it is possible to show love in so many ways. Showing you care doesn’t require expensive gifts or showy gestures.
It’s the simple things from the heart that really count.