“Why are there trees I never walk under but large and melodious thoughts descend upon me?” – Whitman
Most of my friends know I try to go Walkabout every morning at or a little before sunrise. It’s an unplugged walk of 3-5 miles. The above quote by Whitman is as true for me as it was for him, but I don’t think anyone would hear those ‘melodious thoughts’ with the interference of earphones. There’s enough noise in the world.
My personal fringe benefit list.
Nature is all around. As I live in an old neighborhood, there are trees everywhere inhabited by all manner of creature. There are old houses (the once gated Glen Iris Park’s homes date from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s); old and new apartments (my 4-plex dates to 1938); various chain and local stores (I love the old Wilson’s now run by a lovely Indian family and Western Market is open 24-7) and then there’s the University.
The University campus if it can be called that begins just 2 blocks from my home. Actually it encompasses a large part of the city. There are a myriad of sculptures gracing the front of their many buildings, so another fringe benefit is the art. I love photographing them in all kinds of weather and all times of day. My right pocket carries my IPhone for pictures. And then there’s the Muse.
The Muse walks with me often, whispering in my ear lest I miss some of the tree’s melodious thoughts. My left pocket carries a small spiral pad with a pen clipped to it. If you think walking while texting is dicey, try writing. It’s a good thing I walk early and the foot traffic is minimal (a few joggers, dog walkers). I do stop here and there and sit on a porch stoop, wall or the occasional bench when necessary.
Health is the final and I’d say most important benefit of my morning Walkabout. There’s no doubt that walking daily keeps me sounder of body, mind and spirit than I would otherwise be. If I miss a day or two I feel the loss on many levels.
Tomorrow, I turn 67 and thinking I’ll actually park by Golden Temple and begin my
Walkabout there and head for the string of parks along Highland (haven’t been there in a while). Might stop in at Starbucks on the corner before driving back home.