Last week, I attended a 3 day conference. I sat down, sat some more, had lunch and then sat down again. I was not able to move and groove around as I like to do. By Thursday morning, I felt like a 90-year-old woman, all stiff and sore. I wondered if I might have deep vein thrombosis from all that sitting. Thankfully, I didn’t.
This past Sunday, I walked to the library to blog, ate breakfast, dug a 40 foot trench, planted some tomatoes, took a 5 mile walk on The Farm, mowed my father’s lawn, and then planted some more tomatoes. I slept like a baby; I got up yesterday morning and felt like a teenager. I ate breakfast and headed back to the garden to plant sunflowers and melons.
All of this moving and grooving reminded me to be grateful for the gift of health and strength. I have not always felt so fantastic. Even though I don’t belong to a gym or a health club now, there was a time when I did. I even did “step aerobics” classes in the late 80’s and early 90’s, complete with leg warmers and a leotard.
(Thank goodness there’s very little evidence of that period of my life.)
Even though a computer device told me I was burning thousands of calories, I have never enjoyed jumping up and down and running in place. I never felt fantastic. It’s true that many people go to health clubs and gyms and it helps them to get and stay fit. I’m happy there is such an option for people who do not want to dig 40 foot tomato trenches. That’s freedom; I do what I like and other people do what they like. We don’t impose our ideas on each other. We don’t fight about which way is better. No one needs to say “there ought to be an exercise law.”
My own personal experience with growing food and taking care of the land has been physically rewarding. I’ve also had the opportunity to observe other people who grow food and take care of the land; they seem to be amazing physical specimens, with vibrant complexions and a certain peace about them. N.C. Wyeth painted illustrations of such people.
Here’s Uncle Bob, planting three rows of Dorinny corn.
He’ll be 76 this summer. After he finished his planting, he helped me with mine, then rode his bicycle to the Memorial Day parade, came home for lunch, loaded up his push mowers, and drove out to The Farm to mow the 200 foot “driveway” from the road to the barn.
When I’m able to move about on the land, I don’t feel so old. I feel alive and free.
Maybe there’s something new and wonderful in the old ways.
Did you move and groove freely this weekend?