. . . and a new pain in my foot, for a week, probably more. 

Shi*!#%**!! Walking is like breathing for me!

But I can’t deny I’ve been limping.

I sit up in bed this morning, take a deep breath and explore my foot with my hands

          for the first time since the pain began.

Willing to see.

Gently kneading, separating tissues with these fingers that used to 

         inquire and learn and ease pain in others.

A deep slow ache arises with pressure in one spot. I stop.

The pain slowly retreats.

What can I do? This isn’t what I planned.

What can I do? 

I go outside in my cushy pricey sneakers, my weight vest, and light hand weights

for the morning dance routine that ushered me through the pandemic smiling,

mostly.

This ritual fills my heart, and makes it strong. 

Movement tells my muscles and bones I love them and I need them to stay the course.

Outside it’s cold, damn cold (for coastal california ;-))

I look to the east for light. 

A steely blankness stares back at me. And I catch myself scowling. 

My wrist complains that the three pounds that was perfect for 20 months is just too much today.

What can I do? 

I choose a slower playlist I made a while ago but haven’t listened to until now.

I like it! 

I bend my knees more. I move more gracefully and land gently.

I’m working it out.

I’m a puma stepping through brambles in the forest, 

          a sloth reaching for a far branch, confident in my strength, not rushing it.

I’m doin’ it. Doin’ it.

A bright ball of fire catches my eye, small at first, and growing. 

Sunlight peeking through the black tree silhouettes in the distance. 

The sparkly rays, at first barely visible – splinters of red, orange, green, blue,

          indigo . . . streaming outwards, stretching into open space with no plans.

No plans at all

          yet ably filling

                    this place – this place where we all belong. 

The light grows so bright, I squint. Not willing to look away.

Awe and sadness embrace.

Water wells up in my eyes, and instantly

          a pool of sparklers explodes around me. It’s light,

                    light everywhere, dancing wildly, dancing with me.

We are warm, alive, awesome, vulnerable.

My playlist ends and youtube selects for me: Walk of Life. 

Walk of Life, indeed.

I’ll keep doing, and dancing –

watch me doing the mambo to the podiatrist’s office.