THERE was a child went forth every day;
And the first object he look’d upon, that object he became;
And that object became part of him for the day, or a certain part of the day, or for many years, or stretching cycles of years. – Walt Whitman, from “There Was a Child Went Forth.”
Every day I try to walk, anywhere from two miles to sometimes five. I do it for several reasons. First, I have a (perhaps genetic, perhaps temperamental) tendency toward corpulence. So I exercise. I call it “fat-walking,”
But, it also makes me happy to spend the time alone with my thoughts. I have written entire magazine columns in my head while walking, even chapters of books as well. It is a precious lovely time and I hope to keep doing it for a while.
Invariably, some object catches my eye and becomes a part of me for that day, like an “ear-worm” only visual. Yesterday it was a work of sculpture called, I think, “Dancing Victory,” pictured below.
It is located in the River Market of Little Rock, Arkansas and I had seen it countless times. Yesterday, though, it seemed to be dancing just for me, saying “Hey little man, why aren’t you dancing too?”
It made me smile for the rest of the day. It also made me wonder: why don’t we dance more? After all, there are so many things to be joyful for as I speak:
- The buttercups are peeking out after a long, hard winter
- You can see, if you look real hard, the dogwoods beginning to bloom in the deep woods
- The forests are taking on that fuzzy look that means the leaves are forming
- The fields are green with clover
The ancients thought the world died each winter and that it was up to puny humans to bring it back to life in the spring with bizarre rituals, some involving the offering of human life.
We know better now—most of us anyway. We don’t have to make sacrifices.
All we have to do is dance.
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