Walking Waverly in All its Wonder


It has been twelve weeks since I added a regular yoga practice to my life and ceased my daily, morning walks. The change was a gift from lupus. There have been few days that I did not participate in a full yoga flow and only a day or two that I did not practice at least one pose.

The gifts of yoga have been many and continue to come but I miss walking Waverly, a park I have come to know in all seasons. It is a trusted place. Admittedly, during most yoga sessions memories of Waverly drop in and out.

I hoped to return and have.

It is still too soon to tell whether or not a daily walk may return to my regular regimen but that I was able to walk all around the pond means Waverly is still a possibility from time to time. As often happens at Waverly, it was a walk of wonder for the wildlife is rich and varied. I like to think my return was noticed.

As the images reveal, all of the usual suspects came out, if not to say hello at least to give me a glance. I was especially thrilled to see this creature, whom I have only glimpsed twice before. On this day, there was patience for a portrait.Fox pose 1013

Turtle Row is especially populous on this bright fall morning with all sizes welcome. Snowy egrets walk water’s edge, sampling the bounty of the pond. As I cross the bridge, the falling leaves crackle as they catch a crisp, momentary breeze.

In every direction is awe for the seeing, and I gawk. After some time I realize I have assumed Mountain Pose or Tadasana: spine straight, knees together with toes pointed in slightly to even my stance, head lifted in full appreciation of just being at Waverly.
Snowy Egret in fall 1013

Among the many gifts of yoga is learning to move mindfully, neither straining nor restraining the body but moving according to its level of flexibility.  Yoga is my dialogue with my physical self; each movement opens my body to response. I have come to recognize the sensation of the flow of my own energy, my own Waverly.

In the real Waverly, my steps are deliberate—once I would have characterized them as slow—sinew connects muscle to bone in simultaneous stride, a mind-body connection. There is a light awareness of sensation with every breath, with every step.
Turtle Row in fall 1013

It is a familiar, meditative energy that I have come to appreciate for it is present in a moment of monkey mind or one of being with nature. Such a meditative state always serves, highlighting the sensation of the physical self as the mind drops in thought after thought.

Walking Waverly, I open to its energy, swinging my arms and flexing my fingers just because I can. Images of past yoga sessions drop in and out of my walk, as if to remind me of the first time I felt warmth coursing up and down my legs. It is the energy of life.

I remember that I have not always acknowledged the energy of my life. Just because I was able to walk did not mean I was mindful of my body movement in any regard. It is possible I am receiving another chance despite decades of inattention to my physical self other than to constantly demand of it.

So on this morning as I walk Waverly again, I am mindful of the wonder in every step.
Waverly shade 1013

10 thoughts on “Walking Waverly in All its Wonder

  1. Karen, your relationship with Waverly reminds me of Thoreau’s relationship with Walden. I love the description of mindful walking as a wonder in every step. Thich Nhat Hanh would be proud. {{{hugs}}} kozo


    1. Thanks, Kozo, high praise, indeed! Amazingly, I had not thought of Walden until you mentioned it, so thank you for that as well. Walking Waverly is a gift always.


  2. I love the way you paint the lessons you have learned from yoga and how they contributed to your walk. So beautiful!! This is a really lovely post.


  3. I love the sparkling water-shot and the fox with its large ears.
    Do you have less “reason” to walk now that you lack canine companionship? Or is it just a change in your daily approach?
    Walks are so restorative.


    1. Thanks to your comment, I clarified the opening of the post by adding lupus reference and a link to an August post that mentioned my daily walks were on hold. In particular, I am having difficulty with my right knee but am happy to report that yoga is helping me strengthen it. Soon, I hope to experiment with craniosacral therapy as a way to assist me with my joints. I have found yoga really helps my flexibility as well as strengthening the muscles. As for the fox, its large ears are just wonderful.
      Thanks, Ann!


  4. Lovely Karen – especially the wildlife – is it a desert fox? We have a wallaby running loose in Hghgate Cemetery this week but I haven’t seen it yet myself! I do enjoy your walks with you as guide.


    1. As for the fox, I am fairly certain it is a red fox; as far as I know, our area supports only the red or grey fox. His enormous ears and the fact that he is so thin really distort him. All in the Waverly area seem quite familiar with the sightings. Hope you saw the wallaby and that it is enjoying its visit. Assume you and yours were away from the recent, historic storm. Thanks, Diana!


  5. Like you, my life is local. I live it in the confines of this body and, much of the time, within my neighborhood. Much can be said for knowing a small place deeply. The sunlight falling through the leaves paints a familiar picture on the road as I walk, and I never make it home without hearing a young voice call out, “Hey, Miss Adrian!”


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