One foot at a time, ‘til we get there

Published 12:06 am Wednesday, January 22, 2014

One foot, then the other foot. That’s what I did this morning, moving down toward the lake and then back to my house. I planned to repeat the journey for an amount of time I set as my walking goal.

However, even the lovely music playing in my ear didn’t motivate me. I trudged along, a woman on a mission. The wind whipped through the trees matching the thoughts whirling in my head.

I kept thinking about the quotes I read yesterday in celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy. There was talk about love, peace and unity, about how we must find common ground.

It sounded good, but this morning it felt like we forgot the words once the holiday passed. I mean the world seems anything but united. Humans divide themselves into so many different groups and labels.

We are men and women, young and old, rich and poor, liberal and conservative, black, white, red, yellow, gay, straight, American, Asian, European … Oh, we are also Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Atheist…

Even within larger groups, we subdivide ourselves into smaller, more specific labels. Sadly, once we identify with our “people” we seem to lose the ability to consider anything beyond the scope of what we accept as our belief system, which offers us little hope of reaching Dr. King’s “Promised Land.”

That blew through my mind as I lifted one foot after the other. Funny thing, if you let those kind of thoughts run wild, you start to feel a bit defeated, and I felt myself sliding in that direction.

That is when the words of the song playing through my headphones finally connected in my brain and I started listening.

The world as I see it, is a remarkable place

A beautiful house in a forest, of stars in outer space

From a birds eye view, I can see it has a well-rounded personality

From a birds eye view, I can see we are family.

Suddenly, I noticed the incredibly clear blue sky over my head. As the music continued, I turned my thoughts away from the apparent separateness in the world and focused on what lay right before my eyes.

You are the mountain, you are the rock

You are the cord and you’re the spark

You are the eagle, you are the lark

You are the world and you’re remarkable

You’re the ocean eating the shore

You are the calm inside the storm

You’re every emotion, you can endure

You are the world and the world is yours.

I smiled, feeling better as I glanced at the time and realized I’d passed my set number of minutes. Still my feet kept moving, but now with less heaviness. I reached my arms out, lifting my palms and my eyes toward the heavens.

Now I don’t know if you believe in signs, but if they do exist, I got one at that moment. As the chorus of the song played, I caught sight of something amazing soaring above me. Two birds, wings outstretched like my arms, floated along on invisible currents of air. As they passed above me, I saw the unmistakable flash of white that identified them as eagles.

As quickly as they appeared, they were gone leaving me awestruck as I heard these words.

Yeah the world as I see it, is a remarkable place

Every man makes a difference and every mother’s child is a saint

From a birds eye view I can see, we are spiraling down in gravity

From a birds eye view I can see, you are just like me

I smiled again thinking I’d be wise to look at life from a birds eye view and to realize we are more alike than different. And, not to focus my attention on how far the world is from that Promised Land, but instead to keep putting one front in front of the other until we get there together.