Walking is one of my passions. Recently I have done less of it for different reasons. I must come back to it. To me walking is a process. It is a healing process. The process of walking helps me to catch up with what I have missed during the day, the days, when the weeks run like a fast train passing each station without loosing speed. Without stopping. Just on and on. Evening walks. Weekend walks, Weekly walks. Caminowalks. The process takes me down and makes me more focused. Answers and revelations come to me like lightning.
One summerweek just before my holydays I made an experiment. I choose a lake to walk. My desicion was to walk the lake over one week and do that slower and slower. I began doing the lake in 45 minutes. It is 3 kilometers. 3000 meters. To begin with that was slow walking. In the course of a week I was doing the lake in 93 minutes. My feet mooving very, v e r y, v e r y slow at the end. I havent done quigong but I imagine it was in that tempo. I followed the leg movements step by step. Lifting my feet from the ground. First the heel, Rolling the foot,toes leaving the path, lifting it up, moving it forward, down with the heel the forefoot, the toes and again and again – step by step – foot by foot.
What did I realize during this week? I did get very familiar with the inhabitants of the forest. The trees. The bushes. plants. weed. grass. fir needles. anthills. beetles……I began recognizing the individual trees, the individuality of the separate trees. Their wounds. The way they grow. Some trees are broken. Some proud. Some trees even tried to stop me. Branches crossing the path. Speaking to them “hello tree, you look fine today. Are you wet? Do you need water?” I started to be very caring about them. I got very aware of the nature around me. Very devout and attentative. Like a child for the first time in the forest. Seeing it for the first time. With big eyes! Taking all time needed to really see…..and to hear. My listening bacame sharp. Every change in breeze. The sound of branches. The sound of birds. The sound of my feet to the ground. The sound of broken twigs under my shoes. Avoiding to step on the small tiny animals walking with me on this forest path. Moving slower and slower alongside the lake. The sound and movements of water. Sparkling water. Waves against the shore. A fish jumping for a fly. Watching the waves moving over the surface. Throw a stone and watch the ripples flow. Moving out across the bay. (thanks to David Gray). My senses became sharp. My reverence and care for all increased. I became a better human.