The other day I was walking Time (my dog) along a river near my home that runs through the forest. It was a sunny morning; the forest was very still and the sun’s rays where streaming through the trees. I love early mornings as it’s my favourite time to be out in nature.
As I was walking along the path, I came upon an elderly women who looked angelic. She was standing looking at the river and the sun was shining on her. As I got closer, I could tell she was enjoying the warmth of the rays from the smile on her face.
Timey ran up to her and she smiled at him. As I walked up, I recognized her as I had seen her a few times on my walks. I told her how peaceful she looked and she said to me, “I’m in my 80’s and walking here keeps me young.”
Time was sitting right beside her and I said, “he never does that unless someone has treats.” Of course, she had treats! He was sitting getting very excited as she reached into her pocket and gave him a doggie treat. I laughed and said, “you must be very popular with all the dogs.” At that moment another dog came up and then another. Everyone got a treat and Timey got two because he shoved himself to the front of the pack. Everyone stood and chatted for a couple of minutes and that was that. I thanked her for being so kind and giving Timey a treat and wished her a happy day.
As I continued walking, I thought, you are a smart women because one of the biggest concerns from my work is seeing how many older people struggle from isolation and loneliness. Here she was walking in nature as often as she could interacting with dogs and people. I could see that she got a lot of pleasure giving because she was receiving the joy of the dogs plus getting to talk to people.
When I reached the top of the trail, I sat down on a bench to enjoy the beauty. I laughed as I watched Time chasing a squirrel up the tree, then running over to meet another dog. I love these times when everything is so easy and simple. I always say it is the simple pleasures in life and for me nature feeds my soul.
As I was relaxing an older lady came up and asked if she could sit down on the bench beside me and I said, “of course!’
She told me that she was in her 80’s and was needing more support walking because she was not going to give up walking. She told me that she used a walking stick, but it wasn’t working anymore and her doctor told her that she needed more stability if she insisted on continuing to walk.
He told her to get a pair of walking poles to give her this stability. She went to a local store and bought a pair of walking poles which she had with her. However, she was frustrated and didn’t feel that they were helping her in anyway. She felt that they were hindering her on her walks.
I said let me have a look. I got her to stand up and show me. I saw right away that the poles were too short for her so she was having to bend forward too much which was pulling her out of alignment which is a concern because she could fall.
I am a skier and know that it is very important that poles be the right length, so I knew how to help her. I told her to bend her arm at the elbow to a 45 degree angle. I adjusted the poles so that they were at this height. She was so happy. Then she put her hands on top of the poles and I said, “no, no, you aren’t holding them properly.” I then showed her how to slide her hands into the straps and hold the poles firmly with her hands.
I said to her, “there you go, the purpose of the poles is that they provide two more areas of support so that you can now feel stable when you walk.”
She was overjoyed and was so grateful to have met me and that I was able to get her set up so that she could use the poles properly. We laughed and I said, “I guess we were both at the right place at the right time.” Then she was off making her way down the path into the forest.
I sat there for a while longer and thought to myself how easy it was for me to share some simple knowledge but for her it changed and impacted her life.
It had been an interesting morning walk because I had connected with two women in their 80s who were vibrant and happy. It was good for me because I see a lot of people who are in their senior years who aren’t healthy. They had touched me, and I had touched them in different ways because I was open to having a conversation with them.
We all just want to feel connected and it can change someone’s day. Smiling at someone, opening a door, sharing a dog treat, or helping fix walking poles. Be friendly and help each other out, the more we connect and give to others the happier and joyful we will be in our lives. Remember it’s the small things that matter.
Connection and community are key to feeling supported. If you are feeling alone or isolated, then reach out to me. I am here to be of service and can help you to feel balanced and happy in your life again. Please don’t struggle and suffer in silence reach out to me for a (no obligation) Discovery Session. I am here to support you.