The Grill-Meister and I started taking a daily power walk after learning we were to become grandparents and realizing that yes, it’s actually true that “we aren’t getting any younger”. This habit born of that realization 18 months ago has now become a hallowed part of our days.
Who knew it could be so restorative just to take a daily walk? This simple daily habit has huge mental health benefits: our walk helps us to clear our minds, relieve stress, work out solutions to wicked problems and work through situations we have no control over. And of course there are the obvious physical health benefits of weight loss and improved stamina. Walking is a relationship-strengthener, too. It’s something we look forward to doing together, and feel a sense of pride in our commitment and shared identity.
At home, we’ve walked in the August heat, the rain and even the snow. That’s a recent pic of me in my sartorial best 😁 after a walk in sub-freezing January weather.
We walk when we travel, too, on beaches, in parks, on city streets or seawalls. Yesterday afternoon on our walk in Bay St. Louis on the seawall, we detoured onto a jetty for a moment to admire seagulls on their afternoon hangout. They seemed like a whole rather than individual creatures, just blending into the scenery in a peaceful way, oblivious to the troubles in the world.
Being closer to nature like this is another benefit of the walks. We like the wild things. The flora and fauna are different from place to place, and always changing even in the same place as the seasons turn. We’ve seen countless species of birds, deer, possums, squirrels, raccoons, bats, rabbits, armadillos, cows, marmots, llamas and more, and have admired growing things from tiny ‘pretty little weeds’ to giant, ancient trees to gorgeous native grasses in various environments. Just yesterday on our walk, we learned about sea oats after reading sign forbidding their disturbance. What are sea oats? They are shown below, in photos from a previous. They’re really beautiful, and are used to help mitigate erosion.
Walking is like a photosynthesis activity for us, an absorption of what’s out there to help us grow and stay healthy within, and also a process of shedding mental toxins.
And so, a simple haiku in celebration of walking:
on the walk, we talk absorbing while letting go nurtured outside-in
Oh, and the grandkid, or GK#1 as he’s known here in the blog? He’s perfect. Almost a year old and a complete delight. When he’s old enough, we’ll tell him how his impending birth inspired us to take on our lovely daily walking habit. We’ve been on quite a few multi-generational walks with him and his wonderful parents already. The one below is from a park in Waco last fall. He has an adorable smile but we didn’t catch it in this pic.
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