Thursday, August 01, 2013

Why do I walk so much?

Is it the nearest thing I can find to meditation, or my way of paying my dues to my inner nomad?  Is it for the exercise that’s in it?  Or for the easy companionship when I walk with others?  There are elements of all of these, but it comes down to the fact that I love it.  The reasons don’t matter.  It’s the time I feel most myself, most at peace, and most interested in life. When I’ve been walking I can enjoy other activities even more.
Walking in remote countryside clears my brain. Walking in cities may lead to odd encounters and discoveries.  It makes little difference if it’s somewhere I know well, or somewhere new.  Though if I had to choose I would probably go with the new. Like Baudelaire in his poem Le voyage and like many people – novelty enchants me.
But this search for something new mustn’t be too superficial – and walking gives me the chance to feel I belong to a place, and to lay hold and possess it in return.  I think it’s on the same level as learning a language, which is a way of understanding a country and feeling at home there.
I tend not to philosophise about this in my walking blog, but I have certainly put some miles under my boots this year.


T Euro said...

And walking is a free pleasure, isn't it. No team to join, no schedule. Enjoy your free time and the endless opportunity you have to decide for a walk whenever you like.
And if you feel like discovering new landscape, as you seem to have developed a taste for long-distance traveling, fly to La Réunion Island, and you'll be able to be amazed by a wide range of different sceneries ! Their slogan is "l'Ile Intense", and that means a lot in its case.

aliqot said...

Thanks for recommending La Réunion - is that the place Leconte de Lisle was brought up/ spent a lot of time? (Yes, I'll gougeule.)

And there are still lots of places to discover close at hand as well - we took a New Zealand friend for a walk starting two miles from home yesterday.

I think it keeps me as sane as I ever will be.