Tuesday, June 28, 2011

I walked to the shops today.

I walked to the shops today.  My husband had an errand that would take a few hours and it was a beautiful wintry day in Australia - which means sun shining and only cold enough for a light jacket.  The trip was probably about 3 kilometers in total, plus the extra kilometer I added by trying to take a short cut through our neighborhood, which apparently has very windy streets that do not all lead to the shops.  I had nearly 11 kilograms of Saf on my back (24 pounds) in the Ergobaby carrier that we could not live without, and over 12 weeks of growing baby on my front.  I felt pretty good about myself.  I felt strong.  I'm nearing the second trimester energy surge and I can feel it.  It's the first time I've felt motivated to exercise in .. 12 weeks?  Yes.  Probably. 

a younger, smaller and balder saf in the Ergo (on the front)
Saf could stay on my back for hours.  He babbled, waved frantically at his shadow, watched the scenery quietly, began to sing to himself, lay his head against my back and fell asleep.  I rewarded myself for my efforts with a smoothie bought with change that I found on my dresser.  (Buying things with change is always a satisfying experience for me).

South Sudan, a women's seminar - my lovely friend Aline teaching on nutrition.
As I walked for exercise, to pass the time, and in pursuit of a treat, I thought of all the women in the world, babes on their backs, walking many kilometers on dusty roads - I felt connected to them.  I was strong too.  I kept my baby close to me.  I walked.  But then I remembered why they walked - and it wasn't so they could enjoy a smoothie guilt free.  They were most likely in pursuit of their family's daily water supply.  And I felt humbled.  I can remember seeing mamas in Sudan with a toddler tied to their back with colourful material and two 40 liter jerry cans of pumped water in their hands and one balanced on their heads.  It took all of my strength and skill to get one can on my head and carry it for a kilometer without losing it.  [Which I was pretty proud of.]

I window shopped for awhile, ran into a couple of friends, listened to some kind of talent competition that was happening and walked home.  As I walked, listening to Saf and enjoying the sunshine, I couldn't help but think of women that I know and don't know, walking their own roads at the same time, for such different reasons.  I didn't feel guilty for my sidewalk and satisfied belly, but I felt the weightiness of gratitude and responsibility - for not only the gorgeous child on my back, but the luxury of choice and time and energy to waste. 

1 comment:

  1. I can totally picture it.
    Life has so many layers to work through: privilege, guilt, obligation, satisfaction, duty, peace, conflict, ignorance, awareness, hope, peace, stillness.... Walking is indeed a good thing. A good time to contemplate and to just live. Loving you and your little ones :)