Joy of Walking

History has proved that such a simple act as walking can produce powerful results and epiphanies. The Civil Rights movement in America started with people boycotting public transportation and walking. 18th century French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau was a solitary long distance walker. Henry David Thoreau is known as an avid walker into the wild where the world would come alive to him and deliver transcendental wisdom.

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”

For me, walking is pleasurable. These days a lot of my joy come from peace and the calm rhythm of daily life. Our 2 small children have really anchored us into a domestic routine that hadn’t existed before they came along.

Walking provides a calm rhythm to one’s body, especially when one deliberately tunes in to the body’s coordinating movement. I notice my breathing more when I walk. Breathing steadily and deeply helps with building a psychological reservoir of calmness.

I love walking either by myself or with my family. Solitary walking and company walking have equally important benefits. When David and I were dating in Thailand, we had many good bonding conversations during our long-distance walks. Long distance solitary walking has the benefit of restoring one to wholeness, especially in time of emotional distress.

I love walking among the trees or along a creek. I love walking either in early morning or early evening. At those particular times I have an acute sense that I am an intrinsic part of the natural world. Animals love dusk and dawn. Those times of day are when wild animals come out to feed and drink. Birds are also most lively at dawn and dusk.

I have gathered some quotes about walking. They all resonate with me and my love of walking because of the joy this most natural physical activity brings.

“A vigorous five-mile walk will do more good for an unhappy but otherwise healthy adult than all the medicine and psychology in the world.” – Paul Dudley White

“There is nothing like walking to get a feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music. It must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast.” – Paul Scott Mowrer

“Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.” – Steven Wright

“If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” – Raymond Inmon

Solvitur ambulando, St. Jerome was fond of saying. To solve a problem, walk around. – Gregory Mcnamee

Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to mankind. Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility. – Gary Snyder

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow. – Henry David Thoreau

But the beauty is in the walking – we are betrayed by destinations. – Gwyn Thomas

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. – Soren Kierkegaard

My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing. – Aldous Huxley

I dream of hiking into my old age. – Marlyn Doan

When you have worn out your shoes, the strength of the shoe leather has passed into the fiber of your body. I measure your health by the number of shoes, hats and clothes you have worn out. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

You need special shoes for hiking, and a bit of a special soul as well. – Terri Gouillemets

I have two doctors, my left leg and my right. – G. M. Trevelyan

Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors…disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it. – Rebecca Solnit

An early-morning walk is a blessing for the whole day. – Henry David Thoreau

Meandering leads to perfection. – Lao Tzu


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