My walking buddy!
For my first walk of 2014 I dreamed of walking along the beach or exploring one of our great county parks, but in the end I walked from my house, around town and through several older neighborhoods. In a way this was a perfect walk for the start of a year of walking. I am, after all, not crossing America, or backpacking Europe or South America, but enjoying local adventure and discovering simple close to home beauty. Adventure and discovery is as much a mindset as an action. One of the themes of this blog is that you don’t have to wait for big travel to have adventure.
Today I took my dog on the walk. She has to stop and sniff every mailbox, and nearly every blade of grass. At first I am patient, but over time I begin to urge her on. I do wish I had the ability to smell and learn about an area the way she does. I could know every critter that passed, and probably I would be able to understand way more information that I ever would want. We circled around town, passing through one older neighborhood to another. The larger yards and older trees seem to encourage more birds, and today we saw plenty, especially Cardinals.
It was a chilly day. I passed a man burning wood scraps in his yard, and the combination of cool air and wood smoke made me think of camping. I smiled, enjoying the memories. Walking the neighborhoods almost felt like walking through campgrounds, smelling smoke and bacon cooking, and anticipating the enjoyment of sitting around our own campfire.
Last week was New Years, and in South Carolina that means fireworks. I passed many spent canisters left behind in yards and beside roads. My dog sniffed them as if she didn’t care, as if they were not the source of absolute terror for her. For the last week she spent every evening cowering in corners and shaking pitifully. I hope this peaceful walk helped her. My dog is part Wheaton Terrier and she needs walks. She is calmer, better behaved and less neurotic after a walk. As we returned home we passed two kids riding their bikes, and I realized they were the first kids I had seen out playing on this Saturday morning. Where were the other children?
I believe we are all like my dog; we need to run and play under the sky. We need to run off excess energy, and we are then able to handle the stresses of life, whether work, or school, or fireworks. Today we walked our first miles of 2014, all 3.31 of them. I wonder how many more I have to go, and what I will see and enjoy before the year is over.