Friday, November 15, 2013
Walking is something that you take for granted; you probably don’t even think about much. Maybe you’d rather take the car or train because it is quicker. But imagine if you couldn’t walk – you’d miss it. Just ask people in that situation. However, it’s not all about speed. Walking makes you slow down and look around. It gives you time to think.
Taking a journey by car or bus, or train is quite two-dimensional. There are fleeing images, none of which stay with you for very long; it is all so very superficial. All you get is a pretty picture, some nice colours, but no real warmth. All too soon you find yourself back home with some fast fading memories and a vague feeling that there was more to see and do, or that an important experience was missed. If you drive through this landscape there is an indeed an experience that you have missed.
I love walking; it’s one of the small things that I think enriches life. I go on walking holidays – it’s a way to get to know a country, experience the world in which we live. Walking makes sure your journey is not rushed. It insists that you do not brush off the views, the smells, and changes in the weather and light. You can’t close windows, turn up the lights, or turn on the air-conditioning. Walking in the country or bush demands that you cast off the shackles of urban life and surrender to the whims of Mother Nature. But just walking down the street to the shops is something to be treasured. You are out in your community; you can feel the wind on your face, the sun on your skin, and the ground beneath your feet.
Walking is such a simple thing. One foot in front of the other, repeated. It is almost meditative, soothing. Long treks simplify life. There is nothing but getting up, walking, eating, sleeping, taking in the landscape. It’s how we were meant to travel. Don’t take it for granted – it was what your body evolved to do. And a long walk presents a chance to cleanse the mind and body of stress; to return to that peaceful place we all need to go to reclaim our sanity and our humanity. And it costs nothing
Do some more walking – you’ll thank yourself for it.