Yesterday I was inspired to write this poem after two encounters reminded me of how I should love my body more.
As I flipped through the yoga pants at Ross, I noticed a woman in a wheelchair being pushed by her daughter.
The woman only had her right leg and her daughter tucked a blanket around the amputated stump.
I couldn’t help but wonder what had happened….diabetics, cancer,or some kind of accident,,but I saw the resignation in her eyes and I knew that she longed to have the ability to walk.
Ten minutes later, as I was driving down the highway, I saw a man on crutches with one leg stopping just above the knee. I was too far to read the sign but I am certain it was asking for help,perhaps explaining a little about what happened to his leg.
I know one thing for sure,being without both legs makes life so much harder for him.
It was a reminder that I have a responsibility,a privilege,and a honor to take care of my body,to keep it strong and flexible so that it can be capable of doing everything I want to do and need to do.
I looked at my left knee,with a brace around it and made a solemn vow to return back to weight training,to dance,and to living my life ready and anticipating the next adventure,the next step,the,next leap of faith,the next chance to run,skip,waltz and hop.
I saw with such clarity all the things I’ve taken for granted that my legs do.
I stand for hours at a time giving massages to others. I climb up on my table and use my feet and legs to massage,too.
Every day,I bend,twist,shake and boogie with my 3 year old granddaughter and my 17 month old grandson. I lift them up and run after them,I squat down to draw on the concrete,to tie shoes,to apply band-aids to imaginary boo-boo’s and I’ve always taken it for granted that I could.
But seeing these are two people gave me a much needed glimpse into the harsh reality that not everyone is has lucky as I am.
I’ve neglected my body far too often- putting off workouts and training,making excuses, and forgetting that it’s my responsibility to take care of it all of my days.
While my body does belong to me, as I write this, I think about how my body-my legs and feet- give love to others and,in a very real sense,my body belongs to others,too.
I’m able to stand and embrace with both hands, and I can walk over to open the door for someone.
I’ve jumped out of my car to help push a stalled vehicle out of the road.
I’ve taught children to ride bikes,to roller skate,to hop scotch, and to dance.
I’ve spent hours kneeling on a Thai mat,offering healing for others.
These legs have held sleeping babies, puppies and kittens.
I’ve spent countless times stroking the heads that have laid on my lap.
I’ve danced on stage,on gravel,in honky tonks and ballrooms. I’ve wrapped my legs around horses, around beach toys, and around the waist of whoever had to carry me!
These legs have climbed trees, kicked balls, swam in oceans,rivers,lakes and pools with friends and family.
While dancing in the kitchen, I’ve baked cookies and cakes,made meals and culinary mistakes and taught the importance of adding “just a little sugar to make everything taste better.”
I’ve given love and received love through my body,with my heart and my mind focused on what I’m doing.
With every touch, every step, every breath I have the opportunity to honor this incredible gift from my Creator and use it well.
So I’m looking at my legs again…seeing the scars through teary eyes….because it’s almost as if I can read the words on my body,barely visible,reminding me with such clarity of all the absolutely wonderful, fascinating, incredible things that I do with my body every single day.
And I make a solemn vow to each of you,to myself and to my Creator that I will never again take it for granted.
I truly hope you’ll see your body through my eyes and make your own vow to love your body well,too. It’s the most beautiful vessel that holds your soul…..be filled with gratitude for the gift you have.
Experience massage with clarity-
Feel with both hands, Jeanna’