The Type A Lady Takes a Walk (and discovers a secret!)

ludlows-festival-of-small-gardens1

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances.” –Philippians 4:11

Walking for a “Type A” woman could be considered a misnomer. When I take a “walk,” I usually walk/race with a mission in mind. It could be physical fitness. I could be hammering out some angry energy. I seldom walk to just enjoy the moment.

I’m so grateful my father-in-law showed me how to walk. We took a little walk to the Secret Garden…and discovered the secret to contentment. Here’s a little story of our journey.

“Well, well, well!” My 90 year-old father-in-law exclaimed when he got out of his car. He gazed around as if he was seeing our hilltop farm for the first time, even though he’s been here a hundred times.

“This is so nice!” he pronounced, gazing over the cornfields. “What a beautiful place!” He smiled and walked around with a “let me soak it in” satisfied look on his face.

Bert Watkins and his wife, Beth are the best in-laws a Type A girl can have. We lost Beth in 2013, and now I treasure my time with Bert, one of the most positive people I know.

Brad & I ate dinner with him one crisp fall night in Illinois. He was going to be returning to Florida and we wanted a special evening before he left. When darkness came, I said to Bert, “Let’s take a walk to the Secret Garden.”

The Secret Garden is lit up by hundreds of sparkling white lights. This secluded little spot behind our old wooden smokehouse is sheltered by trees which simply glisten.

“This is just perfect,” Bert said as he gazed at the lights. “Oh, oh, oh you are just so lucky. Be sure to count your blessings!”

We walked the Secret Garden with Bert Tuesday night. Wednesday morning, he stepped out of his back door and fell and broke his arm.

The break led to a trip to the emergency room. When he returned home, Bert winced in pain. Yet, as he sat on his own back porch in a crowded condo complex, arm in sling, he leaned his head back in the cool breeze and said, “Well, well, well this is just so perfect! Isn’t this nice?”

I suddenly realized a secret as sparkling as the Secret Garden. For Bert Watkins, contentment is an inside job…a thankful attitude is important. That’s a good lesson to learn.

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