I found myself surprisingly early for the meeting and decided to use the 30 minutes to get some steps in.
I found the walking oval in our central city park quiet and dark and full of puddles but, as is ever the case, intrepid walkers and runners are always out there.
And so I grabbed the old pair of runners in my car and joined the track. (possibly without considering how I'd be arriving at my meeting with soaking wet pants from the knee down).
I guess as much as steps I was also craving just a few minutes of peace and quiet to steady myself ahead of another long day (the middle of 3 long days/evening - see aforementioned scheduling challenges).
I walked out my prayers and thoughts.
There were distractions aplenty.
Mr squeaky shoes up ahead - my first thought was "Great...just great" but I decided to use his squeaky cadence to sync my own pace.
The construction site next door was starting up and soon the hammering and other building noises "Great...just great" until I decided to look at what was being built and then when I one day stand on those stairs, in the completed building, I can say I saw it being built.
The Tai Chi ladies who were surprisingly grunty today and whose slow movements almost mesmerized me to the point of slowing my own pace.
The ladies in the stands meditating on mats with their music playing on a portable radio - chants and bells.
The conversations of those walking behind me in other languages defying my over-hearing tendencies.
The regular rhythm of a lady running in jeggings and a sweater with a sparkly cat on it, breathing hard, making little puffs of air.
Fire trucks with sirens and light, the ever busying streets, as the sky lightened with every lap.
But I found that the peace and quiet I needed filled my lungs and heart and mind with every cool breath of air I took and the lesson was not lost on me.
Peace is what you are gifted in spite of your circumstances (and squeaky shoes)
Peace is a choice in spite of the surroundings (and squeaky shoes)
Peace can be practiced (even when there are squeaky shoes).
I walked into the dawn and the sky tinted pink behind grey clouds.
It was a good way to start this day.