Thursday, September 18, 2008

Walking...

"Above all do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well being and walk away from illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thoughts so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it…Thus if one just keeps on walking everything will be all right." Soren Kierkegaard.

We are walkers. It is, they say, one of the healthiest of exercises, but that isn’t why we do it. Walking may make our bones strong, but it also strengthens our resolve. A form of meditation, it is a way to let go and just be. We begin our walk with a head full of clutter; random thoughts, worries, and as our gait picks up, we breathe, notice the change of seasons, hear the birds, the crickets drowning them out, and a shift takes place. We feel more grounded. No Walkman for us. It is a distraction. There is too much to see. We set out and keep going. Some of our best walks are the most unpredictable ones, a walk through a town on a snowy night, on a beach in winter after the crowds are gone, or through a city, having no set destination.
There are no age limits or equipment requirements other than a good pair of walking shoes. We know an eighty-three year old mother of twelve who has been walking eight miles every day since her youth and still looks amazing in slim dresses and tall stiletto boots. She carries a love of life that, we think, can be attributed in part to her daily ritual. Our dogs are happy, too, when we take them with us on our walk. They slow us down, stopping to investigate every smell, but we are learning from them. We are enjoying the moment.
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