The Same Walk Every Day
We’re moving today, so it seems like a good time to say thank you to the walk I’ve taken almost every day in the year that we’ve lived here.
Since we move around quite a bit, I have come to really value the ability to take the same walk every day as a way to get to know a place.
I have watched the seasons change in front of these buildings and bridges.
Some days, I have worn as many clothes as possible and other days I’ve felt like I was going to melt in shorts and a tank top.
I think I will still walk the Augustana Campus in the year ahead, but it will be a little further to get there, so we’ll see.
I’ll still at least go see the fall colors and the winter snow.
Even if I have to wear a mask to be on campus, I’ll go and walk there again.
But I’m also curious about my new neighborhood.
I wonder where I will walk in the coming year, and what I will see every day.
This week as I took my last walks from the house where we’ve lived, I prayed that even in the time of Coronavirus and Quarantine, I might make a friend in my new neighborhood.
Maybe there is somebody else who likes to take walks every day.
In all kinds of weather.
But whether I walk with a friend or with Taido or Simon, or alone, I plan to keep walking.
I plan to find a route that is mostly the same every day.
So that my body just takes the steps unconsciously.
So my mind can wander and meditate.
Each step takes me a little closer to the kind of day I want to have,
and towards the kind of person I want to be.
Each step is training for a one-day-in-the-future long walk.
Each step helps me work through whatever is going on in my mind and in my heart.
And each step is filled with something new.
Even if the walk is the same,
It’s never really the same.
The world is new every day.
As long as I am paying attention, I get to see it.
There is still so much uncertainty about the year ahead.
Which is partly why I need the rhythm of taking the same walk every day.
When the world is going crazy,
and nothing makes sense, (like fall and winter being all mixed up)
I can follow the path that I know,
even through the changes.
I walk and pray. And walk and breathe. And walk and be present.
I walk and offer whatever healing I can through my steps.
And somehow I am also healed in the process.
But somehow it’s like manna, I need to do it again almost every day.
Today’s steps are for today.
Tomorrow’s are for tomorrow.
At least that’s how it seems to work for me.
As I walk into a new year,
with even fewer ideas about what the year could possibly hold than I did last year,
I hold on to the idea that I’ll still be walking out my front door…
to see the world.
And then coming home and writing down in notebooks what I see.
The flowers and butterflies. The snow and rain. The wind and the heat.
One of my favorite walking quotes is from Soren Kierkegaard. I come back to it again and again:
Above all, do not lose your desire to walk, every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it…but the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill…thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be alright.
…if one just keeps on walking, everything will be alright…
I’m going to keep telling myself that.
And hopefully this time next year, I will have a new collection of images,
from taking the same walk every day.