Today is Palm Sunday and I’m at Dairy Hollow in Eureka Springs. I miss my church family, but I also enjoy being with two writer friends in this little town known for its crooked streets and gingerbread houses. I suppose I could find a service to attend, but instead I’m occupied with thoughts about a walk I took on Friday.
It was a glorious day with sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. Tulips, hyacinths and other spring flowers nodded in the breeze while fuchsia-pink redbuds and white dogwoods laced the hillsides. I couldn’t resist walking through the neighborhood as I waited for Talya and Tom to arrive.
My trek began along a pea gravel path that soon connected to a section of walkway in front of the first house on the street. The walk had been fashioned from flat rock set in stepping-stone style. At the neighbor’s property line, the stones gave way to an older section of concrete slabs broken and buckled by tree roots.
I found smoother going in front of the next residence where the owners had constructed a new sidewalk of faux granite designed to fit in with Eureka’s historical character. But once past that yard, I encountered more rough walkway, the composition changing several times as I moved past various dwellings.
I was conscious of the uneven surfaces, but my focus was on the lush scenery. That was, until I stumbled on a jagged edge lifted by invading trees. I kept my balance and slowed my pace, trying to divide my attention between the beauty beyond and the irregular surface. It wasn’t long before I was distracted by another scene and tripped again. Managing to stay upright, I slowed down even more, telling myself to concentrate on where my feet were landing instead of on the landscape. That worked until a particularly pretty flower grabbed my attention, and I stumbled a third time.
I stopped, feeling clumsy and a little old as I remembered breaking a bone in my foot a couple of years ago while walking in this very neighborhood. Where was that agility I used to take for granted? But I told myself—as my son sometimes says—it’s all good. I didn’t fall. (I’d like to think that’s because I’m fairly active and work on my balance.)
However, those stumbles were like a signal flashing:
Slow down. Watch your step.
I crossed the street and started back toward my lodging on a better sidewalk. When it ended, I moved into the road to avoid the worst sections of walkway I had encountered before.
Soon spiritual applications of my experience began to percolate in my brain. Here are several thoughts and Bible verses that came to me along the way.