A few years ago, I began to notice a popping in my left ankle when I walked, a kind of noise that I felt more than heard. This alarmed me; surely it was a sign that something wasn’t working properly. I saw a podiatrist for something else and asked her about the noise. She examined me carefully, looked at my x-rays, watched me walk, and told me that everything seemed to be working just fine. There was no evidence of arthritis or deterioration in the tissues that support the joint. It was just something quirky my body had started doing.
Sometime over this past summer, I began to hear a click, almost like a tiny slap, whenever I went down the stairs in my house. I didn’t notice it until I turned at the landing to go down the second flight, so I thought it must be a board or something structural. It’s structural, all right, but not architectural: I recently figured out it’s my right hip.
A veritable symphony of pops, clicks, and other noises accompanies me on my daily walk these days, but I’m no longer alarmed. It’s reassuring, like the grinding and whirring of gears I sometimes hear from the antique pendulum clock that hangs above my mantel. Ah, it’s working, I think when I hear the clock. Listen to those joints move, I think when I hear my own gears turning.