Although long walks are one of my favorite parts of life, they haven't been among its features this year, and most especially not this past week. With temperatures hovering around zero every day, I haven't even been to church or to the university for two days. So, as part of my Lenten plan to revitalize my prayer life, I have begin to take imaginary walks, looking for God in the places and among the people I have spent time with. A few days ago, I prayed through a list of many of the institutions of my life ~ churches and schools, for starters ~ and now I am "walking" though their neighborhoods.
This morning's "walk" through the area surrounding my home church included the neighborhood, around which a friend and I frequently walked while our children were in their Montessori preschool there, and a trip across the street to the huge park. That park has been home to our children's play when they were in preschool, to later soccer and softball practices and games, and to long walks with a good friend. I recalled one walk across the park to the Great Meadow and beyond a couple of summers ago, with a woman whose father and extended family I had accompanied through his death when no one from my home church was available.
I found myself praying for many people I hadn't thought of in years; and for my home church pastor, whom I know often goes running there; and even in gratitude for the Rockefeller family, whose vision and money established an unusual neighborhood and its expansive park!
I am finding that I walk so much that I know several places in intimate detail, and they are associated with people from all times of my life. It's an excellent way to pray when the ice and cold have forced me to hibernate.