I lost my bearings slightly on a humid overcast evening near eight o'clock. Rusty and I often take my camera for a walk on the empty back roads where I learned to walk again after my accident. In those days I strode up and down pushing my walker, developing calluses on my hands and sitting down on the walker seat when I went too far and got tired.
I always walked too far, trying to reach the next signpost so when i struggled back to the car I could measure roughly how far I had walked by driving the same distance. Walking here now with legs that need no support is a reminder of how much exercise had to do with my recovery. I have become a bit of a fanatic which isn't surprising as I am pain free and cannot feel the plates and bolt and pins that hold my pelvis together and support my right leg.
It was thanks to my daily walks and my formal exercise classes and endless physical therapy paid for by my excellent insurance. It was thanks to these miles of empty roads frequented by hardly anyone and certainly not the highway crowds driving a mile away madly fixated on Duval Street, the yellow brick road of their dreams.
Well I thought. My legs work so I had better use them. So I took the plunge and wandered into the tangle of roots and branches and thorns and water.
The abstraction of light and dark, the warm salt water swirling round my calves, the struggle to focus the camera on the spaces in between. Rusty watched and slipped silently under the bushes to do his own recording of events.
It was a moment of tangled exploration face to face with nature, off the trail looking at all the shapes and colors not seen from the road. I felt like a proper explorer with two strong legs.
We both got back to the road safely. I admit it wasn't a long hike just a few minutes but I thoroughly enjoyed putting my legs to the test. I never even came close to falling over. I hardly got scratched at all and Rusty was looking at me like I was an idiot. Good times are back. I can trust my legs, I think.