Walking as Meditation

John Muir ... on walking

I often wonder if the weather somehow magically matches my mood or if it’s my mood which responds to a particular expression of weather. Regardless of the former or latter being true, on one recent blustery, blue sky, crisp air winter’s day, the restlessness of the world beyond my windows seemed to mirror the restlessness within, beckoning me to venture outside.
Whether initiated from within or without, I felt an irresistible pull.

And so I took myself out for a walk.
Without agenda, without purpose and with no destination in mind.
A walk just to walk.

Unlike my usual meanderings, where I’m focussed on a particular outcome – either exercising or getting myself from A to B – this was a deliciously pointless journey which gave me the space to simply notice, feel and be aware of the world around me.

John Muir ... on walking

It was glorious.
Every single step revealed some new treasure or sensation, just begging to be noticed.

:: Eyes watering in protest against the freshly gusting wind. The comforting touch of sun on skin.
:: The flutter of swallow wings and swirling dance of leaves, keeping pace with an unheard rhythm.
:: A pleasing crunch of grass underfoot. A foggy meeting of cool air and warm breath.
:: Placid cats watching the world from the safety of clear, sparkling windows and locked screen doors.
:: Flowers poking their brightly adorned heads through fence gaps, as if jostling for a better view.

So many little moments of beauty which would have previously been missed.

This walk without purpose has now become a regular indulgence.
Yes, indulgence is exactly the way it feels.
A simple, yet supremely satisfying pleasure.

In following whatever path my feet desire to tread, my mind is given space to wander, allowing my thoughts to drift away. By the time my feet cross the threshold of home once again, I feel more focussed, more calm … more me.