On a walk yesterday, I had my phone out snapping pictures of new plants poking out of the earth and fresh, green leaves sprouting from dead-looking brown branches.
I was also moving leaves with my feet to find rocks for my children. They love rocks. Actually, so do I. Rocks are awesome—all different shapes, sizes, colors. Some sparkle with mica, some glisten with quartz. Plus, they feel nice in your pocket. They’re grounding.
So there I was, stopped on my little walk, when an older gentleman in jogging pants came walking up to me. “Are you searching for something?” He looked a bit like he was approaching a badger.
I smiled as brightly as I could, “Just enjoying the spring weather and looking for pretty rocks for my kids.”
He shifted, clearly uncomfortable. Then just stood there.
“Oh,” he finally managed. Then he shook his head and started walking again, saying “okay…” as he got up some speed.
Am I searching for something? Yes. The energy and clarity I get from walking. And gifts from nature for my children.
I’m thinking of buying workout clothes. Like those running tights or trendy exercise tops or something. Because when I’m out walking in “regular” clothes, jeans and a fleece for example, I get the strangest looks.
I smile at people. Some don’t smile back. Some hesitantly half-smile—like they’ve just remembered their manners. They appraise me head to toe. (I’m not that interesting to look at.) I’m clearly offending them in some way by wearing everyday clothing. Like I’m mocking their exercise routine. Or maybe they’re simply confused. Their looks seem to say:
What the hell are you doing?
Did your car break down?
If I’m in jeans, I can’t possibly be exercising. And, apparently, simply going for a walk to enjoy the outdoors or get some fresh air is unfathomable. I don’t even wear sneakers, usually, so let’s call this walk what it is: a stroll. What the frick is wrong with strolling? It stills my whirring mind and grounds me. Plus, sun shining through pine trees is pretty.
Hey, ladies in the matching jogging suits…stop and smell the pinecones.
What’s the deal?
Forget dinosaurs and dodo birds, we’ll be saying “It’s gone the way of the walk” sometime soon.