Walking without Purpose

Happiness saying

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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19 responses

  1. I love a good walk and I am off to Scourie with some friends in a few weeks to do exactly that. Tomorrow is actually the start of Living Streets, National Walking Month which I worked on last year. It might be fun taking part in their campaign, I don’t know what they are organising but last year I created a little Pinterest challenge http://pinterest.com/livingstreetsuk/mumswalk-challenge/

    Also one of my clients are these guys http://www.moves-app.com the app is great and totally free and helps count your steps, cycling, running, you simply leave it on in your pocket.

    Good luck with the walking, I will look forward to the results. x

    • Ooh yes, that’s how you met Being Mrs C isn’t it, on the living streets walk?

      Enjoy your walking with friends, that sounds lovely! Hope you get good weather xx

  2. Ooh that sounds exciting Ruth. One of the things about being on holiday is always exploring and, living in the South Downs, we are going to do more of that kind of thing at home this year. I will bear Michelle’s linky in mind and wish you luck with your roads less travelled! 🙂

  3. I so know what you mean – I love losing myself in a good walk. This is a great idea for a linky, and since I’ve moved to a new place, it would be rude of me not to join in! X. I’ll bet those Scotland night skies were just gorgeous!

  4. I love walking, me and Syd can often be found pottering by the river, or walking out into the countryside. Of course my favourite walks are those with a pub lunch at the end of them!

  5. A great idea for a writing prompt – an Australian blogger does a where I live photo meme – kind of a weekly visual thingy of the area she lives in. Looking forward to reading where your feet take you x

  6. Such a good point. I’ll join you. Not literally of course, but will aim to do more impromptu walks. I find it often clears “clutter” in my head as well as allowing me to notice things in a different way.

  7. Thank you for the mention 🙂 And I’ve already said it but I’ll say it again, you were one of the main inspirations for this Linky!! Hope you enjoy it xx

  8. Pingback: A Spring Walk | dorkymum

  9. Pingback: Cheerio 2013! « dorkymum

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