Bones, tendons, ligaments, nerves, heart, blood, the gauzy envelope of skin, cerebellum, signals firing along the rail line of the spine—just some of the exquisite processes working in harmony that allow me to get out of bed in the morning and go about my bipedal day. So easy to take for granted and I have.
The statue of Winston Churchill in Parliament Square in London is heroic not just because its subject was a hero but because it portrays the man as mortal. His colossal frame is tilting and he leans on his cane. It was a Sunday in May, the day I took the photo of Churchill, and Trafalgar Square, Parliament Square, and the maze of sidewalks in central London were packed with people in all stages of gait. It was my first day ever in London. I was in that special state of traveler’s euphoria—a condition of mind I love—seeing landmarks I’d read and heard about for years. It hardly mattered that my feet were killing me. There lurched Winston Churchill, and if I can imbue a bronze statue with feelings, he and I shared a moment of insight that comes only with age. The walking machine will fail with wear and tear and time. And we noted with a wink the foolish young people scurrying past their national hero and me, taking their gait for granted.