Walking is one of the most independent things you can do. When I was little, I would be taken along on one, not yet knowing the magic, the infinity impression of what was going on. I just stepped in (my own, slower) time, my small hand held gently in someone else’s, looking at the world. “Let’s go for a walk” was always an exciting thing to hear. It still is.
On one of the first walks I remember, we followed a forest path. It was summer. The shade of it, the coolness from the open heat of the road earlier enveloped me. The earthy floor was sprinkled with sand that others had brought with their shoes on the way back from the beach. Tall pine trees lined either side. Roots occasionally popped up on the ground and I was quietly reminded to step carefully. Then we (slowly) ascended a staircase to a bridge, with my sturdy, but still short legs determinedly mounting every step. The same process followed at the other end, downwards.
The conclusion to this part of the walk was magnificent. We arrived on an open train platform and in a few minutes a regional one always rushed through. For a few seconds there was nothing but sunlight, rushing air and noise. I was ecstatic.
This love of walking was opened up in me, and nourished, by my parents. It was a gift, because no matter where I am, when I do it, I think of them.
Walks are contained slices of infinity that can repeat themselves. They are part of discoveries in new places that you make for yourself, and yourself alone, and that you digest at your own pace, literally.
I walked as I grew up, everywhere I went. From the days when a bigger hand held mine, we would gradually walk next to each other with those who had watched over me, and we would talk about where our journeys on foot took us. One day, in a city that became my home, I discovered a river, and being around it became My Walk. That river was my point of focus during multiple times in my life. No matter what was going on, no matter how unsuccessful a day had been, or how much happiness about something was filling me up, I had that walk. For two hours I could enter something like a dream, as my feet carried me through comfortingly familiar, but never boring territory.