A walk a day keeps the doctor away.
Or so we hope during this new year of the plague. In any case, Cedar, my wife, and I schedule in a walk every day. It usually lasts anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, although once a pressing need—I can say no more!—caused us to return home after a mere seven minutes. Yesterday in fact, Mother’s Day Sunday, we stayed out a whole 80 minutes, 20 to be sure while standing at a safe distance from one of Cedar’s Earthsong friends, whose house we were passing, to discuss and solve affairs domestic and international. One of Boulder’s many benefits is that, as a small city of 110,000, it’s hard to go anyway, even in these days of Safer at Home, without meeting someone you know.
As I’ve mentioned in these blog pages before, I have monastic tendencies. That’s pretty strange for a third-generation New York City Jew. But so it is. Oh well, there were the Essenes, cave-dwelling monastic Jews back in the time Jesus. He is sometimes considered to have lived with them or at least to have been influenced by their beliefs and practices. So I guess my tendencies aren’t totally alien to my background after all. Anyway, as I’ve also mentioned, I’m trying to re-baptize our Sheltering at Home as a Home Retreat, not unlike the week I spent at a Dominican monastery near Catholic University in Washington, DC. The result of my discernment then was, despite how much I enjoyed the life and company at the monastery, I really was a Feldman, a “man of the field” who needed to be out and about in the world. At best, in the words of the Javanese proverb, I could be “outwardly active while inwardly quiet.” Now there’s a trick!
Back to walking. The purpose of our daily walk is to put holes into the Swiss cheese of being shut in. Beyond that, it’s an opportunity for physical exercise as well as a chance to catch some natural vitamin D from the sun. Fresh air, moreover, has a way of keeping us from getting stale. Then there are those two wonderful sayings, one Latin, the other Spanish, respectively: Salvitur ambulando and En caminando se hace el camino. Or in English, “You work things out by walking” and “By walking you create your own path.” Cedar and I take turns planning our walks. The operative principle is to try to come up with one we haven’t taken before—something that’s become increasingly challenging when we’re restricted to touring our own neighborhood. Hey, how about joining us in our practice of daily walks? You too can take a Happy Walkee-Walkee.
A Tree of Life in this time of death—first seen on our May 10th walk.