On these walks

Jeff snapped this photo of me walking Pasha in our neighborhood, April 2009

Jeff snapped this photo of me walking Pasha in our neighborhood, April 2009

“It is on these walks that my best ideas come to me.  It is while walking that difficult clarity emerges.  It is while walking that I experience a sense of well-being and connection, and it is in walking that I live most prayerfully.” Julia Cameron

For several years now, I’ve been walking anywhere from two to five miles per day in pretty much all types of weather.  I cannot say enough about the positive changes this has made in my life.  My weight, my moods and my ability to stay free of minor illness have all improved.

More importantly, walking has become a vital part of my inner life.  While walking, I listen to favorite music or an interesting unabridged audiobook as I take in the beautiful changes of the seasons.  On my walks, I have come to know many of my neighbors (and their dogs) and have admired the gardening and decorating talents that enhance my enjoyment of being outdoors.

Even in a more urban setting, the advantages of walking are many.  I can stroll to the post office, the grocery store or a number of shops and restaurants, saving gas and getting exercise.  The landscaping is maintained to be attractive in each season, and the sidewalks, streetlights and constant presence of people make it easy to walk safely to almost any place I need to go.

I originally began walking when our dog, then 11 years old, began to show signs of failing health.  When I saw the remarkable change walking two miles per day made in his energy level and stamina, I was convinced I needed to increase my walking habit for my own health.  Now I cannot imagine life without this daily break.  It’s the only form of exercise I can stand to keep up for very long.

It does require time — anywhere from 45 minutes to almost two hours, depending on how fast and far I go — but I find that it is time well spent.  If you are not already doing so, try taking a walk some sunny day.  You might find that you like it as much as I do.

This post was originally published seven years ago today. You can view the original with comments here.


  1. Good one. Entirely agree–a necessity and a pleasure every day!

    • Thanks! Isn’t it wonderful when necessities are also pleasures?

  2. mike c.

    To look back and see that i made some comments 7 years ago is –well ” how time flies.” And Rachel is still having issues. She was in a bad accident at around age three when a lawn mower ran over her foot leaving her with permanent injuries to her left foot. She has always walked with a limp on that side. Other issues as well and of course in NYC they do a lot of walking. You and the Upper Room are the two blogs I follow.

    • Mike, I must say that when I do take the time to read the old comments, it brings both joy and sadness. How I miss Daddy when I see his comments! And others who have now passed on. Even more sadly, how I wonder what became of several people to whom I once felt close. As you say, “time flies” and it leaves many changes in its wake, too. If one lived in NYC any problems with walking would be keenly felt. It is such a great city for walking, and given the traffic, even those who don’t like to walk probably choose to do so most often.

  3. mike c.

    I get upset at some of the anti Muslim remarks from time to time on the Upper Room site, but what can you do. To me to only pray for someones conversion from another faith seems kind of disrespectful. Growing up Catholic may gave me a more eclectic view at times of the beauty and diversity of other faiths.

    • I don’t think it’s necessarily disrespectful to wish for someone else something that has been vital and life-transforming for us, but to force it, or to have an arrogant attitude that fails to see how much we have to learn from other faiths, is a different matter. Praying for the conversion of another to what one believes to be true seems to me to be a private act, non-intrusive and therefore unoffensive, unless– and this is a big caveat– it feeds the aforementioned problem of arrogance. Humility is the key in all forms of prayer, I think. I long ago gave up trying to give God advice, in favor of asking God to open my eyes to whatever I need to see more clearly. As to our Muslim friends, one thing I appreciate about them is their modesty in female dress. Anyone who can introduce modest swimwear to the Sports Illustrated annual soft porn swimsuit issue has done a good thing, in my opinion.

  4. mike c.

    Your brother in law also right ? Larry? But I guess longevity on a blog is one form of immortality?

    • Yes, Larry died, and Jeff’s mother too (she used to read the blog every day, but only commented on it privately to me), and a few other occasional visitors that I can think of just off the top of my head. We are at the age where the losses come more and more frequently. Just got back from a funeral on Tuesday, for one of our friends who lived near our York home.

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