I used to love to go for walks.  Moving my body, drinking in fresh air and sunshine, cheering for the flowers as they struggled to bloom, admonishing joggers for over-spandexing unneccessarily, gazing into homes and wondering who their inhabitants were and what they were doing… imagining a different life or different surroundings.  Appreciating my life.  Saying Hi to fellow one-foot-in-front-of-the-others or acknowledging them silently with a nod.  Communing with nature, with God, with self.

But somewhere along the way I ruined it.  I invoked rules and measurements–distance, MPH, heartrate, calorie burn, and accidentally relegated my beloved walks to the “should do” list when they belonged on the “get to” list.  In my quest for mileage, I lost the joy of a walk in the park.

So I’ve decided to reclaim it… the joy of walking that is.  I’m going to saunter, stroll, skip, meander or mosey when the urge to be in forward motion overtakes me.  I may walk around the block, through the park or well into the next neighborhood.  My heart rate may elevate… or not.  I may burn tons o’ calories… or not.  Most times the pooches will get to accompany me, but occasionally I’ll go solo.  And I may not come home fitter or skinnier, but I’ll come home lighter and brighter.  I think I’ll start now…

Sayings of the Buddha

As a mother watches over her child,

Willing to risk her own life to protect her only child,

So with bouldess heart

Should one cherish all living beings

Suffusing the whole world

With unobstructed loving-kindness.

— Sayings of the Buddha from the book, Buddha, by Jon Ortner