I do not walk for aerobic exercise, though walking as I do for 30 to 40 minutes does get my heart rate up into aerobic range. I don’t walk for the scenery, though some places provide breath taking views. I recall sweet memories walking with my friend and our dogs on the mountain in the spring time.
Friend Linda and our dogs, Flea & Diva
Back then I walked in our woods for the sheer pleasure of it. In my travels to Hungary, I walked with my sister and brother. Breathtaking views delighted us. It was a time to recall childhood memories.
Over the years, walking has changed for me. Nearly every morning while living in Fort Myers Beach, I walked at sunrise along the beach, there, the sound of the waves lapping at the shore always comforted me. Sometimes friends would join me but most of the time, I walked alone.
Walking has become a meditation for me. My walking philosophy is nothing as grandiose as David Thoreau declares in his essays on Walking
In the very first sentence he affirms, “I wish to speak a word for Nature, for absolute freedom and wildness, as contrasted with a freedom and culture merely civil, — to regard man as an inhabitant, or a part and parcel of Nature, rather than
a member of society.”
No grand statements from me. My paths are now in the desert and on sidewalks in my neighborhood, here, I look for wild creatures along my path, I listen for the sounds of birds especially quails, I listen for the sounds of children playing and splashing in their backyard pool behind the fences and walls, families in happy conversations. I feel the breeze whip my hair and delight in the smell of flowers sweeping across my path.
Although sights and sounds delight my senses, nowadays I walk to nourish my soul. I walk to restore balance to my frazzled confused spirit. Critical voices in my head fade away, heaviness disappears from my heart in the sure knowledge that where ever I am, no matter what path I take, I am not alone, God is with me.
I love the story of the disciples “walking to the village of Emmaus, seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them. 16 But God kept them from recognizing him. Luke 24:13-35
I often repeat a mantra as I walk. Sometimes a song comes to mind, and I begin signing it to myself. Recently, this song came to mind as I walked,
I knew it comes from a higher source. Hearing myself sing it, a sense of gratitude fills me with joy.
One step at a time, listening and feeling the rhythm of my foot fall is strangely comforting. Strange because no matter if my mind wondered or troubles re-visited, I am brought back to the present. In that moment once again, everything is perfect.