I've just manipulated my husband into making me a cup of warm milk.
But I feel rather as though I deserve it (in so far as a Calvanistically bent Anglican can deserve anything), so flush am I with the extraordinary number of tasks I have accomplished in the course of the day.
Amongst them was the taking of a long walk.
I've taken a total of three real walks, not including this one, since we moved into this house and neighborhood. Of course, we moved in the dead of winter, torn from the comfort and security of a house we'd finally learned to like (what high praise) and a neighborhood that was perfect for walking, even sometimes in the snow, so walking in this new place didn't immediately occur to me.
Behind our old house there was a good solid hill, if you felt up to it, and just over from our very nice neighborhood was a super fancy neighborhood with big beautiful houses. If you were really motivated you could loop up over the hill to see all the richness, or, if you were fat and pregnant, you could go the longer flatter way. Then also, in the opposite direction, our street was lined with comfortable interesting looking houses with fairly nice gardens, and if you pushed just a little farther on you could make it all the way to now defunct La Tazza for coffee.
I walked a great deal on my own, sometimes pushing a baby, sometimes not. Matt walked every day. Many times we would walk together--three babies worth we managed to walk together, pushing massive and heavy strollers and talking talking talking to each other. Its was so restful before the children could talk to us. Many evenings I walked up and down trying to kick myself into labor. One, two, three, four times. We walked the dog. We walked alone. We walked.
As soon as the weather was better after the move, by this time feeling sick with early baby number five (I mean, because what better way to inaugurate a house than to have another baby) I took one walk. But it was disorienting and unpleasant. I blamed it on the baby, but I think, though the weather was warm, I was still very numb. The houses were ramshackle. I judged the gardens unfairly. All the various paint combinations made my head ache. I tripped once on the pavement. I discovered I was too busy to ever do it again.
So then we had another baby and I had so many babies I didn't know what to do, certainly not take a walk. But finally I did earlier in the summer. I walked right up to the top of this new other hill. And then, a few days later, I did it again with a friend. At the top was an immense view of the whole city, blazingly baptized in golden purifying light. From up there it looks like a real city.
Today, RC Sproul buzzing in my ear about the atoning work of Jesus on the cross (Matt is always generous with his ipod if it will help make me thinner), I nodded to various neighbors. I discovered three houses with lovely tucked away gardens. I was friendly to a dog. I said hello to a young boy swinging on the metal railing of his steps. I thought the sun might be setting on old grief, shedding its pink and golden array of glory on new walks. As Jesus and RC have said, "It is finished."