I work just one city block, albeit a long one, from Central Park. Yet, I haven’t gone in there in the three years since my spinal pain started and walking became a challenge. Today, however, I decided to join two friends for a brisk walk through it after work.
I had planned to go straight home, shower, climb into bed and watch the Hallmark Movies and Mysteries channel. But, I needed to clear my head after another exasperating day at work.
I made the winding trip from Central Park West over to the baseball field, Victorian Gardens and the duck pond. When we got to Fifth Avenue, my two friends went a different direction and I walked to the train.
My detour after work put me on the 7:44 pm train. I was about 45 minutes off schedule. Every bone in my foot hurt and the back of my knees hurt. I was a bit hunched over too from back pain but I was moving quickly from the NJ transit platform towards the Newark Light Rail.
As I got to the top of the stairs to the light rail, I could see a blind man carrying a probing cane. He was asking for someone to help him get him to the train. No one stopped so I did.
He says he first wants to purchase the 2 for $5 meal at McDonald’s. I took the money from wallet and gave it to him. I waited for him then I stuck out my arm, the one that was free of my cane, and I guided him onto the light rail. I knew I wasn’t going to his stop so I placed him in a seat next to a woman going there.
I looked back at the man as my stop approached and I thought, If I hadn’t gone with my friends, I wouldn’t been there to help him. Deviating from my plan allowed me to test my strength and do a kind deed.
As I walked the final three blocks home, i didn’t feel as tired as I had before. I thought of the Reverend James Cleveland song my grandmother Nettie used to play:
“I don’t feel no ways tired,
I’ve come too far from where I started from.
Nobody told the road would be easy.
I don’t believe he brought me this fat to leave me.”
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