My alarm went off at the usual time this morning. I hit “snooze” over and over. It wasn’t that it was cold outside my warm covers or that I dreaded the day. It was because I had been tossing and turning all night, thinking about writing about walking.
A confluence of remarks and thoughts reminded me that the days were growing shorter; longer shadows graced the afternoon landscape, soon to be the domain of hunters hiding in tree stands.
The snow will fly before I can safely walk through the fields at dusk again.
The thermostat clicks and the sweet, rugged smell of wood smoke fills the air.
My friend Julie, Sistah Slippah, sent me a long note about walking as a remedy to many physical and spiritual ills. She wrote metaphorically, basing her assessment of walking’s goodness on how it served the well-being of her dog. She said dogs build up energy during the day and if their bodies don’t have an outlet for this energy, vis-a-vis walking, their minds will create all kinds of things to use their pent-up energy on.
Chewed slippers, chair legs, and gloves, just to name a few.
Reggie reminded me of writers and poets who used physical work to process their emotions and bring them into submission to their art.
As I was walking the fields near my house the other day, I thought of Andrew Wyeth’s painting Trodden Weed. In January, 1951, Wyeth had a portion of his lung removed due to a disease of his bronchial tube. The surgery was significant; his chest was split open and the muscles of his right shoulder were severed. Although the shoulder muscles were reconnected, his recovery would include intense pain and agony. To rebuild his strength, he began taking walks in familiar fields.
Schedules and routines will need to be rearranged. As the coming darkness approaches, walking will be important.