Monday, November 11, 2013

Walking. Space. Time.

spider in the wind
Most of the places I go are quickly accessible on foot through the forests, around me. And it's much more enjoyable to follow deer trails to my destinations than it is to follow the roads or even the larger public trails.

But this afternoon I had reason to walk along the road. I would have taken my bike, for expediency, but one of the tires was low. So I walked.

It's probably been a few months since I walked this particular route, alone, during the day. I make a point of saying alone, because I rarely walk anywhere without my own or quite a few children, and that, in itself, is rather novel.

When walking alone, the space around me opens up, and without the distraction of conversation, kids' discoveries, and all the bodies around me, things I don't normally notice become apparent. In that space between myself and the world, the air contracts and expands; smells travel. In that space, memories return to me that are usually buried beneath the now of being with others. I notice the changed curvature of trees, that seemed straighter in my childhood. I notice the sounds of needles and leaves and nuts falling onto varied surfaces. I notice temperature changes and wind speed changes.

And in the expanded time that it takes me to walk along a route I usually drive or cycle, I can see so much more; think so much further. I watched the United Church from a distance, as I walked toward it, and was grateful for the extra time to look. I remembered when someone spilled a can of paint up there on the roof, I remembered ringing the bell when I was younger, I saw the light coming through the yellow curtains and remembered my friend's wedding there, and her mother's memorial service. By the time I arrived at this church, my heart felt full.

I'm grateful for the gift of time and space that happened to fall on my consciousness, this afternoon.

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