Sunday, November 18, 2012

Walk the Walk

If you are a regular visitor here, you know that I often walk to and from school.  To me, living close enough to do this is such a blessing.  Maybe I feel this way because of the fact that I can't drive.  If I can walk, I'm not dependent on or burdensome to others.  Or maybe it is simply because I like to walk.

Yes, there are days when it is cold or hot or  I am tired.  Yes, I have gotten drenched a few times when i misjudged and the storms moved faster than I did getting home, but those incidents are few and far between.  Most days I thoroughly enjoy my walk.  It is nice to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine.  I listen to the birds, watch the trees change from one season to another, admire people's gardens along my path and have some time just to think or to just "be.".

At school the other day, one of my colleagues stopped me and said that she had seen me walking home a few days earlier.  She graciously offered to give me a ride if I ever wanted or needed one.  I have no doubt that this was a genuine offer of kindness and that is how I took it; however, it did make me chuckle just a little.

I happen to know that this person also lives very close to school, about halfway between campus and my house.  Though she could easily walk, she doesn't.  What makes this funny to me is that several days a week during lunch, she goes outside and walks around the campus walking path.  Why not just walk to and from school?  This would be a practical thing to do - get exercise and keep a car off the road.  I wonder how many people there are who make similar choices.  

What would the world be like if more people opted to live closer to where they work or go to school and then made the choice to walk rather than drive?  Or, even utilize mass transit.  Certainly this would, at the least, help the environment and at best, it could help the overall well-being of mankind.  Could  it make us a happier healthier nation?  Would we respect each other and our natural world more?

I don't know the answers to these questions, but I sure would like to think that walking, if and when we could,  would be a positive thing.  Until the rest of the country, or even my little corner of the world, comes to this conclusion, I will continue to enjoy the uncrowded sidewalks and quiet time I have while I walk my walk.

“Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors...disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.” 
― Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking