Monday, March 22, 2010

On A Long Walk

Once upon a time, Mary told me that she thought it was interesting (and I paraphrase) to see the ways in which her friend's bodies seemed to accommodate their lives. She was pointing out that my body appeared as though I walked a lot, which I do. It really is one of my favorite parts of living in an urban area, the necessity for and joy in walking.

I was thinking about this, this morning as I walked from the Wicker Park neighborhood to my area of employment in Lincoln Park. I didn't intend to walk the whole way, but mostlu due to my impatience in waiting for the bus, I did. This is in addition to the fact that Scott and I trekked around downtown for most of the afternoon yesterday. I believe we were walking for a good four hours and so when all is said and done, I imagine we tacked a few miles onto our feet.

As a kid, I remember my mother going on walks with neighbor ladies. This was her primary form of exercise, but at times I would tag along and we would make our way either down the street or through the "back 40." For some reason, I also associate it with cold weather and jackets. Maybe a red nose and a walking stick. These things stick out in my memory.

Since my recent move to the western edge of Lincoln Park, I've adopted walking to and from work and class, rather than waiting for the bus. I will probably return to my bicycle as soon as the weather warms a bit more, but through the winter it has been my choice option. It is quite a hike and takes me a good half an hour, but I've come to the conclusion that this is one of the few times where I am able to do two things; talking to my parents on the phone and think. Two things that I don't always do a good job of doing.

I feel more acutely aware, than ever before, that I have very little time to myself to think through things. Similarly, when walking with others, the conversations tend to dig into areas that don't happen in the same way when sitting at a table. Maybe it has to do with the logistics of not facing one another, but facing the world. Maybe this encourages tackling topics that we wouldn't normally, but this morning as I walked along and just thought, I was reminded that walking time is incredibly important to me. It is important to me as an observer of the world. It is important to me as someone who hopes to choose healthy modes of transportation. It is important to me as someone who thinks through things in life that are complicated and meant to have specifics energies dedicated to. And, maybe it is important to me as someone whose body is just setup to do it.

So, I choose to walk. Even when I can ride, sometimes I'll walk, because I think nothing is quite better for the whole than a long walk.

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