(This isn’t ‘my baby’ … it’s just the video’s title.)
I’ve been in awe of walking lately, and in the joy of it this late spring. Flowers and gardens of Somerville and Cambridge, people out and about, running or walking wearing lighter clothing. There’s a depth and texture of experience — and interaction — thousands of times greater than from inside a car, or even a bike (ecstatic too, in a different way). Walking, the pace lets the environment come alive. Yesterday, for example, on my way to Cambridge Insight, a driver in a blue car stopped to let me go ahead on a crosswalk. He was clearly in a great mood, playing a cumbia, windows open. We did the ‘you go, no you go’ dance for a while and finally — he won. His happy smile was a gift that I can still see in mind a day later.
There are very many ‘baby’s first step’ videos online. I liked how the dad in the video is tender and encouraging, clearly used to spending time with his daughter. Emily Shih, apparently the mom and camera woman, posted this clip in 2006. This little girl surely doesn’t remember the thrills and spills of this momentous event in her life (other than from seeing herself starring in this video?).
For about a year now my left knee has been hurting, making me realize it’s an ability not to take for granted. For now, taking more walks seems to be helping — knock on wood — along with anti-inflammatory supplements, leg lifts and foot crunches.
Apparently ‘walking’ began with some of our ancestors’ arboreal maneuvers (you can sort of see the arboreal quality in the bounciness of the girl in this video) along twigs and shaky branches, holding with our hands and shuffling with our feet. Modern-looking footprints were found in Kenya, 1.5 million years old, left by a group of hominids who were walking along a river shore, together.
Yesterday, my Facebook friend Urgyen Tenpa reported his heart skipped a beat watching his daughter (10 months old…?) suddenly go erect and bipedal, running toward the Buddhist altar in their desert home. And I remember when I knew my dad wasn’t going to get up again.