COLUMN: A walk with Clark and Amazing Grace

It’s an incredible gift to have a walking buddy like Clark. To walk, talk, and gently, gracefully share acceptance with.

By Dawn Humphreys

There is a haunting well-known song called Amazing Grace, that I have always loved, and, when played on the bagpipes, it can bring tears to my eyes.

The first verse goes like this: “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost and now am found …” The melody and words have always spoken to me.

As I write today, I don’t think of music, instead I think of a walking buddy that song reminds me of.  MY walking buddy.

It’s been said that when you are stuck in life, whether dealing with anger, depression, confusion, frustration, the best easiest thing to do is to simply move. Just move.

Walking buddies add extra benefits to the healthiness of movement – you get a good chinwagging in, a shoulder to cry on, another brain and mind to help you sort through life’s ups and downs and a second heart to remind you to care for yourself.

I was lucky – my walking buddy picked me. His name is Clark. Clark endures roughly an hour of me each time as we walk through a park. And all that sharing I mentioned above? I’m the one who does most of the jabbering and spilling, and he still chooses to walk with me.

We talk of the weather, relationships, job opportunities, children, politics, religion, – it’s a full range of topics with this walking buddy of mine.

The most important communication of all though – was and is unspoken. The communication of grace. The dictionary offers a few definitions of grace. The Latin word is gratia and literally means favor, kindness, and esteem, and it is a derivative of gratus.  To walk in grace is to be free and living in kindness, mercy, and unmerited favour. Grace in action gives the opportunity to just be.

I haven’t had very much self grace and “just being” in my life. I seem to have been always planning, seeking, trying, working, striving, volunteering, coping, stressing, hoping, and helping, to name just a few action packed verbs I fit into my life. Somewhere along the way I lost my “being” and forgot to just live in the moment. So busy was I thinking and … verbing.

Moments with this walking buddy, confidante, brother, fellow volunteer, monk among men, and friend are precious to me. At times, this walking buddy would say “Okay, that’s how you think, but what do you feel?”

Bit by bit as we walked in our park; sometimes silent, at times with deep thoughtful exchanges, and most times me jabbering away a mile a minute, this gentle soul introduced to me the concept of grace and simply being.

It’s an incredible gift to have a walking buddy like Clark. To walk, talk, and gently, gracefully share acceptance with.

This lost soul was found by my walking buddy. A walking buddy named Clark, who truly knows the meaning of Amazing Grace.

May everyone be blessed with a “walk in a Clark.”

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Dawn Humphreys is an East Sooke resident and author of the upcoming book Straight Talk from a Zig Zag Girl.