I have a bit of a routine when I go out for my daily walk which goes something like on the uphills I listen to podcasts and on the downhills, which is on the way home thankfully, I take the earplugs out and I believe the phrase is ‘be in the moment’. It’s funny how I find the act of walking very meditative in a way that I could never just sit in a quiet room and meditate like I have been told in the past would be ‘good’ for me, but tramping the miles seems to make it totally natural and I can just switch off finding that I can just float along unaware of location until it becomes apparent that I need to either do something like open a gate or mind out for traffic. Alternatively often going out with a problem on my mind can result in a solution that can be thought through in a logical and with clarity that I don’t usually get in normal daily life. Also being out in the environment helps the mental state and in these short, dark days of winter with the daily change in the quality of light it helps to remember that better days are just around the corner. In fact I often think at this time of year when being buffeted by the winds relentlessly or soaked in yet another deluge that soon I will be putting on sun cream and be out walking in t-shirts. However we are receiving a lashing from the tail end of storm Jonas at the moment and todays walk is not going to be fun or probably productive.
I have long wondered about the journeys people took long before any forms of mass transit where progress was purely from ones own propulsion. Even in my lifetime I have witnessed a change in how we comprehend travel. Most people use to live close to their work and would on the whole stay within their communities, whereas now travelling to and from work takes up a larger portion of out lives than it ever did. Then travelling a couple of miles seemed like a major undertaking whereas now contemplating visiting friends measured in many tens of miles is not even given a moments thought.
All in all I hope to carry on my daily walks where ever I end up as I get great enjoyment from it and if you don’t do it give it a try whether that be exploring your own neighbourhood or just getting off the bus one stop early on your way to work. You never know what you may find.