Living By The Book: Miracle Walks

Hello, welcome to more Living By the Book.

I continue living the book Inspiration Sandwich by investigating the concept of Miracle Walks.

Miracle Walking is walking while being hyper-aware of everything around you. It’s saying hello to people. Not being in a rush. Checking out the sky.

SARK says, “Bring a small bag packed for extraterrestrial travel. Wear a brightly colored hat and pick a destination that delights you… Notice colors. Dream while moving.”

Note: You can skip the brightly colored hat. No, really.

I already walk everyday in every kind of weather. This is because I co-habit with a dog:

Freja the dog waiting to go for a walk.

This dog walks twice a day. When she was a crazy puppy, we trained her to want to walk and now that’s what we’re stuck with twice a day. But, since I walk everyday, I often do it without actually noticing anything at all.

So my mission was to go on some Miracle Walks. This also fits with SARK’s mandate to “Let your dog take you for a walk.”

I resolved to let Freja sniff as much as she wanted and not rush her along. This ballooned our usual half-hour walk to over an hour.

Dogs are Miracles With Fur!

It was interesting just how long she could sniff one spot of snow. I became irritated but then I realized that, to her, sniffing a spot is like reading a book. I wouldn’t stand over someone reading a book and say, “Read faster! Can’t you read any faster?”

We did find a dilapidated piece of a stuffed animal in the snow that she wanted to sniff for several minutes until I stopped it. But otherwise, I gave her free rein. I let her eat a piece of bread she found. (I did not let her eat the vomit she found.)

And then we came upon Our First Miracle:

Little Free Library in South Minneapolis near Washburn Park Water Tower.

These Little Free Libraries have been popping up in my neighborhood for months now, but this one was new to me. They are for people to leave books and take books. I looked inside and found this book:

The novel Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger.Here’s the plot:

Twin sisters – Julia and Valentina – inherit their English aunt’s London apartment (excellent). But they have to live in the flat for one year (no problem!) and their parents can’t enter it (huh, that’s weird).

The girls move into the flat (‘natch), which borders a cemetery called Highgate. They get to know the weird neighbors, including a guy who writes crossword puzzles and suffers from OCD (of course) and their aunt’s former lover.

They also discover that there are spirits roaming the cemetery, including, maybe (probably!) their aunt.

Holy shit, how did I not know about this book because it sounds exactly like something I would read? It’s a miracle!

After our stop at the Free Little Library, we headed on to our destination, the Washburn Park Water Tower. Here it is, looking ominous, like something at Highgate Cemetery:

Washburn park water tower in South Minneapolis.

I like to go to the tower now and then and sit on one of the benches at the top to contemplate why things can suck so hard. Plus, you can check in with these guys, who are a Stern Miracle:

Washburn Park Water Tower sculpture of a knight.

Washburn Park Water Tower sculpture of a knight.

We didn’t stay long because a couple of teens wanted to be alone up there. I’m sure they had no place to go – her mom was home, his annoying brothers were at his house – and they wanted to make out. All that sexual tension that built up at school; biology class, gym class, passing each other in the hall – who was I to stand in the way of that?

We left. Back down in the neighborhood, we said hi to one of the dogs we always see – this old dog who hangs out on the front step of his house. He’s not tied up or anything – he just doesn’t move.

He’s a cool dog.

The next morning, Freja and I headed out for another Miracle Walk. This time we went to Lake of the Isles (which actually has 28 reviews on Yelp, which is interesting because I would never think to review a lake) and walked around it, making a pit stop at the off-leash dog park that’s across from the lake so Freja could say hello to dogs, which is one of her hobbies.

The weather hasn’t been that great lately, but for our walk the sun was out, the light was beautiful and it was warm and I was happy to be outside. Freja stopped to roll in the snow and I bent to pet her.

I’m not religious, but it’s been a blessing to have Freja in my life during my recent down times. She’s so happy to do anything, so happy for a scratch, a walk, a treat. It’s selfish to be down when you’re around a dog, who automatically thinks you’re the best and most popular person in the world.

As we walked, a truck passed us. I swear it said “Milton Berle’s Hot Tubs” on the side. No, that couldn’t be right. But it was toting a large hot tub somewhere.

“Cool,” I thought. “Someone is getting a hot tub.”

Later, when we were driving home, there was the Milton Berle’s Hot Tubs truck again, delivering the hot tub to a house that’s only about 7 blocks from my house. This house has an attack cat that attacked Freja when she was a puppy – literally ran out from some bushes and jumped on her back.

Still, I was glad to be witnessing someone else’s miracle.

Someone else’s Hot Tub Miracle is a small victory for us all.

I’ll end by sharing one of SARK’s Miracle Walk stories from Inspiration Sandwich. It was my favorite:

Agape Miracle Walk from the book Inspiration Sandwich.Click the image to enlarge.

Up Next: Write more love letters.

Not sure what’s happening here? Read about the Living By the Book project and also read the first installment of Living By Inspiration Sandwich.