“Hey, why don’t we walk together”

I am on a 21-day mindful walking challenge.  Today’s challenge was stepping out of our comfort zones and perhaps walking with a stranger.  It brought to mind yesterday’s walk.

Yesterday, the weather was so nice, I decided to take a walk on a favorite trail. It’s a nice trail, but it is not used much especially in the winter. Quite early in my walk, I came upon a young man with a backpack. He was kind of just standing there, looking up at the sky.   For a fleeting moment, I debated whether to turn around which as a woman is something you sometimes have to ask yourself. We were the only two on the trail, at least as far as I could see. But I kept walking in his direction.

He waved as I came closer and I said “Hi, How are you?”

He said “I am okay, I am okay…No I am actually not okay.”

I asked him ” Oh? Why is that?”

And he said that he felt that the world had changed so much

I remember my response ” I hear you, it sure has.” But I did not pause in my walk, I may have slowed down my pace a little. And as I passed him I added ” the sun sure does feel good today though”

I did say a prayer for him as I walked on. I prayed that he would find peace. But as I walked on, I wish I had stopped and talked to him, really talked to him instead of giving a superficial answer. I hoped that my warm greeting had made a difference but my thoughts kept returning to this young man and I turned around.

By the time, I got to where I had seen him, he had moved on. I said a prayer for him again as I walked back to my car and made a silent vow to stop next time if the situation ever arose.

Today’s challenge reminded me of this young man. I imagined saying to him “Hey, why don’t we walk together.”

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