As the weather winds down for winter in Michigan, there are fewer days to enjoy a nice, warm walk on a sunny day. But what is a walk all about?
Personally, I do not like exercise for the sake of exercising, so it is very unlikely you will ever catch me in a gym, but walking is an easy way to fool myself into a healthy habit.
Today, I realized how much I enjoy a long walk. I mean really long, like I will walk until I am not sure if I will have enough energy to make it back to the car. I like to explore and walking helps me slow down enough to view the world in slow motion (compared to all the driving, flying, and even bicycling I do).
I paused for a few minutes under a big oak tree by the Grand River. I sat down on the stone steps by the water and closed my eyes for a minute. I could smell the autumn leaves, earthy and sweet, covering the sidewalk and rocks that dipped into the river. The tree was letting leaves go, too, and it seemed like a slow motion rainfall of yellow, red, and brown sails lazily making their way to the water, to sail off.
When you walk, don’t forget to pay attention to the world. Listen to as many sounds as you can process. Try to hear everything at once, and then try to focus on as many individual sounds as you can. Look under railings or up into trees and see what life is flourishing there that you would normally have just passed in your rush to work or your next social engagement. Inhale and try to identify each scent of the flora and fauna around you. Just take a minute now and then to get out of your head and be as much a part of the world as the tree you are walking by or the wind whispering to you through it.
Today’s lesson: walking is good for the body, calms the mind, and enriches the spirit when you do it consciously. Enjoy your day.