Thank You, My Body

at 10:43 PM

I’m on a bike ride at the Crystal Springs Reservoir listening to a playlist of nostalgic songs, drifting in and out of the mist and reliving childhood memories.

I had woken up achy with arthritis, and was hoping that the pill I had taken would kick in.  For sure it did, because before long the pain was gone.  Thank you, Pill.

I pedal on in appreciation of modern medicine, when I realize that I should be grateful to my body as well.  Yes, this body that I have not been proud of, for I mostly dwell on its dysfunctions.  I was the frail child that got injured most readily, or got sick most often.  I had no aptitude for sports, and was always the last one to be picked for a team; more than half a century later, I can still hear the words of the captain whose turn it was to pick me say to the opposing captain, “You have a stronger team, you take Ripu.” 

But, now in my 65th year, it is the same body propelling me up the bike path.  It is the one that over the decades has let me trek to Burgess shale, enjoy great vistas in the Sierra and the Cascades, hike up Yosemite Falls, and climb the stairs to be amazed by the architecture at Machu Pichu.  I am so remiss in not being grateful to you, my body. 

You haven’t failed me. I am alive with my faculties intact. I can still enjoy my foot hitting the duff in the Redwoods, smell the air, appreciate the sounds, enjoy good wine and single malts. I can take pleasure in the company of my wife and friends, and hold my grandchildren in a tight embrace with these arms. With anticipation I look at the mist rising in front of my eyes. Boy, am I ever so grateful! 

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So, here’s to you my body; I say, “Thank you.”

With a Perspective, I’m Ripudaman Malhotra. 

Ripudaman Malhotra is a research scientist specializing in the chemistry of energy and fuels. He lives in San Carlos.

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