Gerard Manley Hopkins
The world is charged with the grandeur of God.
Gerard Manley Hopkins
Hoping that all who are having to stay in on a June evening will find relief soon.
Afternoon walk to Stockbridge, a little village just down the road from New Town where I am staying. When I see the Scott Memorial I know I am almost home. Amazing how this idyllic town is so close to the 'downtown' of Edinburgh.
Walking is one of my best times for solitude, but what will my life be like if there comes a time when I can take my daily walk? I try not to spend time pondering that, but truth be told, sometimes comes to mind. I also think about the people who can't walk--those whose bodies hinder them, or who are afraid to go out on the streets….. Maybe one of those people looks at this blog.
For those who walk in mind, body and/or spirit, let us be grateful for virtual walks. Please enjoy this spring old-house-walk in my New England neighborhood.
Living in New England all my life, I've grown up with stonewalls. They've always been part of my landscape; they've gone unnoticed. So yesterday on my walk, I took notice. (If you are wondering where the builders of these wall got the stones, just take a look at the picture of dirt at a home construction site on my walk. If you are wondering why so many walls were built, that same picture will give you the answer.)
Yesterday I took three walks: one at 7:30 AM, another at 12:00 PM, and the final one at 7:00PM. I had felt lazy and mental enervated all day, but thankfully it was the walking that keep me going-that plus a little reading and jigsaw puzzling.
I am reminded of all walking I do in Florence. One of the reasons I go there, I say, is: ‘To walk around with God!’ I walk morning, noon, and evening and times in between, not because I am mentally enervated but because I am mentally energized. So while the weather permits and while I am physically able, let me embrace this walking, both here at home, and when I am in Florence at the end of September. And let me do it energetically.
You are not alone because when you walk you soon become two. Especially after walking for a long time. What I mean is that even when I am alone, there is always dialogue between body and soul (p. 56).
I walk every day; I’ve been doing so for years.. For the past three mornings, however, thanks to wisdom of Frederic Gros, author of A Philosophy of Walking, I’ve set out with one ascendent purpose: the unity of body and soul. Yesterday, I walked longer and further than usual—I didn’t plan it; it just happened. I walked at my usual rate, no change in speed, but my body and soul walked together, hand in hand. We weren’t in a hurry. Only the present moment was before me.
We are into January. I know that because we had our first snowfall yesterday and our first sun-fall today. When the walkway in front of my house is icy- treacherous, I drive to the Lady of Fatima parking lot and start from there. Come along an enjoy the snow and sun.
I’ve declared that my knee is better, at least well enough for me to get back into my daily walking routine. How easy it is, with snow on the walkways and pain in the knee, to give up a daily walk. But I’m back. I’ve been doing my PT exercises as warm ups before setting out for my walk—1/8 of a mile to Wadsworth Cemetery, wander about there, and then home.
My final PT session is coming up; my wonderful therapist will give me a set of maintenance exercises; my calendar will be free of that appointment. For those who care, I probably have a degenerative torn meniscus—and some arthritis. It’s an age thing, but I'm telling myself, "Just keep walking!"
Solitude works best for me during these Covid times if I can get out for a walk. If there comes a time when my knee, or some other impairment gets in my way, I’ll have to make serious psychological adjustments. But for now, nothing is in my way, including the weather. When the snow comes and the walkway is icy and treacherous, I can drive up the to Our Lady of Fatima parking lot and walk on the back roads.
Today, however, here I am with a clear sky above me.
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