“Every walker is a guard on the patrol of protecting the ineffable.” ~ Rebecca Solnit
I walk. A lot. On purpose. Have done for a long time now.
When I’m not walking, I’m using public transportation or ride-sharing.
That said, I’ve done my share of driving … across the country, in crazy L.A. traffic, in the San Francisco Bay Area. Places where driving often requires armoring up, and ‘road rage’ is more than a concept. Years and years and miles and miles of it.
So when I’ve had the choice of other options, I choose them in a New York minute.
I suspect that the need and choice to walk is in my bones, though … a legacy I inherit from more than a few of my walking, wandering ancestors.
Of course, driving everywhere is really a pretty recent development, so maybe we’ve all got more walking-in-the-bones than not.
Even so, I’m always freshly surprised at the push-back I get for choosing to walk, or choosing the combo of public transit and walking. I don’t evangelize, nor am I a ‘walking fundamentalist,’ shaming and calling people out for making other transportation choices.
The push-back seems more their own ‘issue’ about it, which I’ll gladly leave to them!
A wise elder friend of mine, John, called walking one of the modes of ‘human-powered transportation‘ that are often a combination of health-friendly, eco-friendly, and in sync with the more recently coined Slow Movement lifestyle choices.
Indeed, he devoted a lot of his life to human-powered transportation, innovating with velo-mobiles and living other ‘walk the talk’ eco-conscious lifestyle choices.
For me, in addition to the obvious health and eco-friendly benefits of walking, putting foot to ground is also a practice of connecting with the spirits of place, and the facets and qualities of a place.
You learn and come to know where you live when you walk it.
I can’t tell you how often I’ve had some lovely spontaneous interaction that wouldn’t have happened had I not been on foot or, alternatively, on public transit (the second eco-friendly transport option for many).
And given that I spend a lot of time with writing, research, online and other tech-mediated work — and I’m grateful for them all! — heading out for a good walkabout, meander, human-powered wander or errand-run (or errand-walk, as it were!) helps to keep me feeling more balanced and grounded.
Plus there are more than a few times, like during those Underworld cycles, where I’ve walked to help me get through passages that seemed just that challenging. I literally walked my way out of the Underworld!
These are a lot of benefits for one practice or ‘transportation mode’, but there are many more.
The Intrepid Walkers Club
And there are many impressive people in the Intrepid Walkers Club – Henry David Thoreau, Emily Bronte, Dorothy Day, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Charles Dickens, Gandhi … to name but a few of the poets, writers, mystics, movers, shakers, changers, inspirers who walked.
This DailyGood article, Reclaiming the Lost Art of Walking, includes some famed walkers, and some of the brain-and-body-and-spirit happy reasons to put foot to ground and head out for a good walkabout … or meander … or wander … or saunter, as Thoreau advocated.
I shared a similar DailyGood article via this Museworthy quote from Rebecca Solnit, on Slowness as an Act of Resistance.
Another blogger and writer who has shared several musings on the Art of Walking is Nimue Brown in her Druid Life blog. Check those musings out here.
Big Love and Happy Ped’ing,
Featured Image Credit: Eadweard Muybridge, Animal Locomotion, Plate 2, 1887. PD Wikimedia.
Be Who You Are. Shine Your Soul-Force.
Easier said than done sometimes, yes?
For Soul Force-stirring clues and greater clarity on what has joy, heart, and meaning for you (and how to step into and express that), team with me as your inspiration partner, mentor, and guide.
Give, Receive & Support the Work
If you’ve found regular inspiration … or a super-handy dose of it … in this and other Sophia’s Children articles and offerings, consider supporting the work in one of these ways:
Lots of love,