Monday, July 28, 2014


There was a time when I used to walk a lot more than I do now.  There used to be a time when I would walk over a couple of  miles, every day.  I walked to classes and back.  I walked to my job and back.  I walked to the grocery store and back.  I walked because I didn't have a car, because it was inconvenient to take the bus, because I needed exercise.   Once I even walked for 20 miles, but that was a special occasion, a fund raising walk to help fight against birth defects.

Walking is not only a form of transportation and exercise, it is also a form of meditation.  Many Buddhist temples contain walkways designed for meditative walks.

Walking is also a wonderful way to discover things one can so easily miss when traveling any other day.  It doesn't matter where I walk - I always find things of interest to me.  A thistle plant, growing in the otherwise bare patch of ground near a sign post.  A sunflower growing along the pavement.  An empty wasps nest that had been blown down from somewhere.  Brambles growing along the banks of a creek, full of tempting blackberries.  I delight in these discoveries.  If I am walking with my daughter, I try to draw her attention to what I see.

Today, I went walking with my daughter.  She was intent on getting from Point A to Point B.  I was, too, but along the way, I saw a place on the pavement where a leaf had left an imprint in the cement, pointed out a stand of  hollyhocks to my daughter, admired the dark blue agapanthus growing in a flower bed (a darker blue than the plants I grew in my garden), tried to identify the tree with red fruit that looked a bit like lychees, but weren't, and noted a hedge of pomegranate trees.  I look forward to walking that route again, later.

Cars and buses are convenient and get you places, faster.  But walking opens up a whole world of discovery.

Do you like to walk?  Are there special routes you take because you enjoy the scenery.  Do you notice things like plants growing along the pavements?


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