I had something of a revelation this past weekend.
I mentioned in yesterday’s post that my oldest friend came to stay for a few days. During one of our many nostalgic chats over the weekend we ended up talking about the long walks that we used to take all around Harris.
There isn’t a lot for teenagers to do on the island, so when I went back and visited during school holidays, we used to spend our days walking in circuits around the village or out along one of the coastal roads. We would walk and talk, talk and walk, sometimes until 2 or 3 in the morning. It was worth staying out that late to see the stars – the island sky is clearer than anywhere else I’ve ever known – and to experience the calm and the quiet that falls after dark.
I never walk like that anymore.
I still spend a lot of time on foot because we don’t have a car, but the difference when I walk now is that I always know where I’m going. At other stages of my life, walks had a purpose – to spend time with a friend, to exercise a dog, to discover a new city, to push DorkySon around in a pram until he fell asleep – but not necessarily an end point.
Now the beginnings and ends of my walks are always clearly defined. I walk to the store, or to the station, or to pick DorkySon up from nursery. I never just head out the door on a nice day to walk for pleasure, and it’s only the conversation at the weekend that has reminded me I really should.
Michelle over at The American Resident has set her readers a task recently. The ‘Where I Live’ linky encourages people to write posts about the places they live. She particularly wants people to try and find positive things to say; even if they’re living somewhere they don’t love.
I’m going to take up that challenge, and I think the best way of doing it is to start walking again. I’m not saying daily, or even weekly – my initial aim is to make it out once a fortnight for a walk somewhere local that I’ve never been before. It feels like an indulgent thing to do, turning my back on laundry and emails while I get my comfy shoes on, but the weather is getting better and I’m doing almost no other exercise just now so I hope there’ll be a health benefit too.
It’s time for me to explore a bit more. Time to take paths I haven’t yet trodden.
I hope I get lost. I hope I find things that surprise me. And I hope that – as Michelle has asked – I find something positive to say about where I live.
I’m looking forward to sharing the results here.
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