A writer wishing she was afoot

“I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.” John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938

Christopher Robin is in England this week, visiting his mother for Mothering Sunday. He sent me a little audio clip of walking up the road in an English village, with birds warbling and his feet crunching and I desperately wanted to be back in Hawkhurst, walking the public footpaths.  I want to be walking anywhere, truth be told, the yen is on me for a long, long, long walk, days and days of getting up and walking a long way and coming back to sleep and eat, then getting up to to it again the next morning.

Oh, I’m walking, of course. Jack and I walk every day, twice, usually for more than hour altogether, and I do love starting my writing day that way, getting my lungs filled up with clean, fresh air, getting my body moving, and my brain. It’s while I’m walking that I unravel plot tangles and come up with ideas for essays and figure out why that character has been carrying around that thing all through the book.

But since walking all over England and down the Camino de Santiago (Best.Walk.Ever.) last summer, I haven’t been on a single very long walk (more than five or six miles) anywhere. There was the little matter of a torn meniscus that had to be repaired and then the recovery, which was actually very fast–I was walking to the mailbox the second day, and to the park by a week later. It helped the knee to heal very quickly.  As walking does.  It’s my cure-all. My daily constitutional and my way of meeting the world.

The long walks are my way of meeting myself. Having long conversations with Spirit and the vastness of everything.

This summer is devoted to my garden, which is also important to me, and I have a lot of writing to do, so I planned to stay home.  I still choose not to travel far this year, but Colorado is pretty stunning.  I’m sure I can find a multi-day walk or two around these parts.  🙂

Now I leave you with the quiet of an English village evening. (You can really begin to hear the birds at about .30.  Turn up your volume.  Birds and Hawkhurst


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