I used to be really good about walking. I used to get 12,000 steps every day, for years. Sure, there were a few days here and there when I failed. But for the most part, I hit my goal almost every day. When I first started this about fifteen years ago, I lost over fifty pounds. Well, the steps have faded, and the weight has returned. I keep telling myself I have to get back on the wagon. I keep telling myself that this exercise is as good for my mental health as for my physical health. But I just don’t do it. I find excuses. Oh, I need to write this or that. Or, I’m just so tired, a nap would be helpful too. Or, hey, I’ve got depression, so I’ve got an excuse. But I’m tired of those excuses.
I also haven’t really blogged in a long time. Apart from my sermons, I’ve blogged twice since May. That’s not good. No wonder my statistics look so bad for this site. Again, I’ve got lots of excuses, the biggest one being the book I’ve been working on. And fair enough — that has taken a lot of time, and it has kept me writing, which is good. But I haven’t reached out to people this way. My post the other day about the baptismal font reminded me of how important this blog is to me and to others. My writing is something that connects us together in a special way, and it’s time to get back into it.
So, today begins “Thirty Days of Walking and Blogging.” I commit to getting 10,000 steps in every day for the next thirty days, and to blog about it each day as well. Don’t worry — I’ll make sure it’s not just a bunch of statistics each day. I think most days will end up being kind of like today: I’m going to tell you briefly how I got my steps in, and then reflect upon what that activity means. So here’s today: I got most of my steps in while reading Origin by Dan Brown, and while watching the final episode of the TV show Babylon 5, “Sleeping in Light.”
And that episode made me all kinds of emotional. First off, why I watched it. Babylon 5 was a science-fiction show that aired from 1994-1998. My good friend Jeff turned me onto it when we were in college, and I watched it religiously. It was the only show that ever came close to Doctor Who in terms of its meaning in my life. I bought the DVD sets, and watched it again once or twice over the years. About four years ago, I began listening to The Audio Guide to Babylon 5, a podcast made by fans of the show like me. Every two weeks, the hosts talk about one episode of the show, in order, from its shaky early episodes, through its glory days in the middle, to the denouement at the end. Babylon 5 was touted as a “novel made for TV,” and it truly was. It was one of the earliest examples of “season arcs” in television, something very common twenty years later. For the past four years, I’ve rewatched the show with this podcast. And today, I reached the end. I won’t give away any of the plot of this final episode, in the hope that maybe one or two of you might want to watch the show someday. But I’ll say this: the final episode is clearly a finale, wrapping up plot threads and providing emotional closure. There were throwbacks and reminders to episodes from throughout the five years. “Sleeping in Light” is sad, yet hopeful.
And it made me sad and thoughtful today. It reminded me of all the ways my own life in the past week has been wrapping up plot threads and providing emotional closure. I have completed the manuscript of my book. I now have the task of pitching it to publishers, but that’s a different thing: that’s the next chapter. And I have that baptismal font. Every time I see it, I smile. It’s just sitting in our garage, between our cars, but every time I see it, I grow more and more fond of it, happier and happier that I went to the trouble of getting it. There is something holy, something rich, something joyful about it.
I’ve been on vacation all week. I took this week off so I could spend some quality time with my sister and her family; they flew in from Seattle today, and I’ll be seeing them a lot over the next few days. But in the first half of this week, I have finished a book about my own life; I have received a gift in the form of a baptismal font, which is itself the place where I received the greatest gift of all; I have completed watching again a television show that spoke to me so deeply in my college days; I have rediscovered the beauty of coincidences in my life; and now, I have also begun anew to walk and blog. This has been a good few days.