There are many ways we can move our bodies, but for me, I like walking. Inhaling fresh air, especially on a crisp fall day, is heaven on earth.
In the summer when it’s hot, I like to get up before the sunrise to walk. More than the heat though, the road I walk on is due east/west so the sun rises behind me and I’m not visible to oncoming traffic. The road is a very narrow country road, so there’s a survival component to my getting up early.
As I walk, I greet the maple trees in my front yard and the neighborhood Golden Retriever Ginger who sits outside waiting for a passerby to play ball with her. One morning, she sat with a plastic bat in her mouth – the image of it still cracks me up.
Sometimes I walk regularly, but then if there are a few days of rain or some other derailment, I might not pick up again for week or months. Lately, though, I’m starting to focus my attention on walking regularly.
When you go for a walk, do return to home base in the same mood you left in? Or with the same nagging thoughts?
Generally not. Why? Because there’s something about a walk that is cathartic. The fresh air we breathe in brings new life into our body – it gets the energy moving. The brain gets oxygen that it didn’t get sitting at the computer, being in the house/office, or sitting behind the wheel of our car. Our blood gets a boost and circulation kicks in. The food in our digestive tract gets some up and down movement as we walk, aiding in digestion.
This vessel of ours wants to be moved. It wants to know it’s alive and it wants you to know that as well.
Walking is a spiritual practice that connects us with the energy of the earth. Walking in the woods is of course ideal - the smell of the forest floor wafting into your nose, caressing the trees as you walk by - but even if you’re walking on the road or a sidewalk, you’re connecting. Finding a park or a neighborhood with grass, trees and rocks, a place with flowers and animals helps us to remember that we are one with Mother Earth.
Our work in life is not so much what we do, but that we remember our connections. And what better way to remember than to go outside, walk, and intimately connect with the Mother who gave life to humanity.
And in so doing, we find our way back to ourselves with love and reverence.