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Sunday, September 04, 2016

On Walking

Jean Sexton muses:

I read Ray Bradbury's "The Pedestrian" and it worries me. When Wolf and I walk, we rarely see anyone young or middle-aged walking. I see people take their dogs to potty in a tiny area and once finished, they head directly back in. Sometimes I see joggers when I go to and from work. I rarely see people just walking, except one of my neighbors who seems to wander a lot. Isn't it odd that I sometimes wonder if he has a reason for walking so much? True, I am walking to stay healthy. But as I walk, I look at my world and try to see it. I do walk to my mailbox and back. It seems most people drive there.

I guess it is like sitting outside. I see a few people who do so to smoke. But most steps and patios remain empty; some patios have no chairs. A few people sit outside (I can think of three apartments with people who sit just to sit -- and two of those have families not originally from the US).

I walk past these apartments and in some, I can see the flickering light that shows they are watching TV. I wonder, do they even know how good it feels in the evening? I didn't remember until I had dogs to remind me of what I knew as a child. And I admit, back in southeastern North Carolina where I lived, there were so many mosquitoes and biting flies it was unpleasant to be outside in the evening. Fire ants made roadside walking hazardous. Some of the reasons I love Amarillo are there are practically no mosquitoes and no fire ants and there are plenty of sidewalks. With the lower humidity in the summer, the temperature usually moderates by late evening.

So on the next pleasant evening, I challenge you to walk for just a bit if you can do so safely. Take time to look at the world and really see it. Sit on your steps and watch the clouds go by or see the stars. You might be surprised by the peacefulness you find.