Solvitur Amublando: It is solved by walking. -St. Augustine
We move so quickly. We drive places to get where we are going as quickly as we can. The journey, the driving, is simply a means to an end–get where we need to and then move quickly to the next task. We run, run, run…but often our thoughts and feelings are in another location. They are running, too. Our body, mind and spirit are rarely in the same place at the same time. Perhaps we need to let our souls catch up with our bodies.
“The story is told of a South American tribe that went on a long march, day after day, when all of a sudden they would stop walking, sit down to rest for a while, then make camp for a couple of days before going any farther. They explained that they needed the time of rest so that their souls could catch up with them.” Sabbath: Finding Rest, Renewal, and Delight In Our Busy Lives, Wayne Muller
Walking to school has been part exercise, part meditation for me these past three months since my trip to Germany. (See blog post Sweat is Good) I’m tempted to drive to school when I’m running late (and I’m always running late…I perpetually over-estimate the amount of time I have to accomplish the daily morning tasks. Not to mention that I try to squeak out an additional hit of the snooze alarm alarm with each passing week.) But I accept that perhaps, for now, at least, I shall be running late whether I drive to school or walk. But when I walk, my mind, body and spirit seem to arrive at the same time when I get to school. So I shall be running late while walking.
I must admit there were two weeks that I didn’t walk to school. Some days I had appointments or meetings before or after school and needed the car to drive the distance by a certain time. There was one day that it was raining and lightening. I drove for my safety. Really. And a few days I drove because the day before, and the day before, I had driven. Sheer laziness can be a habit–this I observed in myself.
Coincidentally, or not, those two weeks that I drove to school were more stressful for me than any of the other weeks of this school year. Maybe it was the increase of activity or scheduled meetings and events that caused the additional stress; but maybe I missed my walking. Regardless, the lesson is the same: slow down, schedule less, enjoy nature, rest, allow my body, mind and spirit to arrive together–this seems to work better for me.
There are thoughts I think, ideas that emerge, things I see, that perhaps can only happen on foot. Like seeing this beautiful leaf, spotty with color in a patch of brown leaves. This is part of the journey that cannot happen in a car.