Mindful walk

First walk cleanses mind, sorts things out

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

As I walked on the gravel road to the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist for the first time this year, I thought about Easter and spring both as a time for new life along with death.

This first walk is very significant and important to my writing career. It sorts things out kind of like spring cleaning. The trees are bare, and I can see deep into the woods where the ground is still covered with last autumn leaves.

The trees along the two-mile route look like dark caricatures; creepy sketches whining as the wind tries to break the wood. The road is hard, and I can feel every pebble under the soles of my shoes.

First spring walk to the Franciscan Sisters
First spring walk to the Franciscan Sisters

By the Homestead Orchard I found an old patch of snow. Usually by this time, I see daffodils peak out. The apple trees in the orchard seem old, bent and all crooked.

The camera is dangling by my side.

As I take a deep breath of fresh air, the wind howls above my head, But other than the wind, it’s totally quiet. I did not encounter a car, a person or an animal.

I tally last winter’s happenings. We had two new births in the family, Josephine and baby boy Sam born in France.

I haven’t seen yet Sam, that’s the price of immigration and international marriages.

New life shows in the first fig
New life shows in the first fig

For the first time in years, I am walking alone. My dog Haryk can’t walk well anymore. He sleeps most of the day.

My parents Ella & Vaclav Konecny are still in Florida awaiting the funeral of their good Czech friend Anthony Herman. That brings me full circle to our immigration saga captured in Greenwich Meridian where East meets west.

The two families knew each other before immigrating in 1968 from mom’s hometown Vizovice in former Czechoslovakia. They immigrated separately with their young children.

New life in a pussywillow
New life in a pussy willow

When I arrived in 1989 in NYC to permanently live in the USA, we stayed at the Herman’s home. The Konecnys and the Hemans remained in telephone contact over the years.

Aging brought them closer together since the families followed the pattern of winterizing in Florida. They found themselves living within half-an-hour of each other. They visited with each other on Sundays for many years, according to an old Czech custom.

And as my favorite author Gabriel Garcia Marque writes in his “One Hundred Years of Solitude,” that you’re never home in a foreign place until someone dies there.

With the wedding preparations of our son Jake Pala and Maranda Ruegsegger, and now with the death of our family friend, I realized that we have finally arrived.

We are home now.

Copyright ©2014  story and photos by Emma Palova

related links Franciscan Life Process Center



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