Walking is For Noticing

by Christine Sine

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Walking is the fastest pace for noticing – go out and have a good walk today, notice your neighbourhood, enjoy its sounds and smells and sights. Anchor yourself and find where you belong. Refresh your spirit and your soul.

I posted this suggestion on Facebook and twitter yesterday and have been thinking about it ever since.

All of us know that walking has benefits for our physical health. Just 30 minutes, 5 times a week reduces the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure, reduces the risk of colon cancer, helps control body weight, increases bone density and helps prevent osteoporosis. And thats only part of the list.

Walking is one of the best things we can do for our spiritual well being too.  Not walking as in stair climber or gym, not running either, though they can have benefits, but walking as in getting out to explore our neighbourhoods.

Walking is fun, relaxing and for most of us, easy to do. It also the best way to notice what goes on in us and around us. It is the only pace at which we really do see and hear and smell all that is happening around us.

I love to walk around the garden each morning to see how much my vegetable plants have grown overnight. It is also a great time to commune with God and draw closer to the One who has created all that I see around me. Each moment and thing has the potential to become a vehicle for revelation.  Walking can open us up to new ways to experience God and the world around us. Each step contributes to the rhythm of our life and its revelation can overflow into the whole of our life. It is a gift that draws us towards God and towards others.  

Walking is also one of the best way to get to know our neighbourhoods, our neighbours and our friends. I love to walk the dog around the neighbourhood, noticing who is working on their garden, which yards look neglected and who else is out there enjoying the local park. People often stop to say hello. They share stories about themselves, their gardens and their pets. And I love to walk around the city noticing the urban lots transformed into p-patches, the new skyscrapers rising into the sky, and the homeless people asleep in the doorways.

Interestingly, the best speed for walking according to coolwalking is “as fast as you can without losing the ability to hold a conversation.” Walking is not meant to be done alone, it is meant to be done in company with others. As I think of that I am reminded of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. As they walked along they were talking about everything that had happened. As they talked and discussed these things, Jesus himself suddenly came and began walking with them.  (Luke 24:14,15). So often when we walk and talk with others it is as though Jesus walks with us, explaining the scriptures and the ways in which they reveal who he is.

Walking is for noticing not just sights sounds and smells but God and neighbours and friends.

What will you notice today? 

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2 comments

Jeri Bidinger May 23, 2014 - 5:37 am

What will I notice today?

We’ve been hectic and on the road attending to a big project for a new ministry. Yesterday, having come home at 4am, we wandered our small Turkish town for errands and visiting and were found by our Turkish “granddaughter” who took our hands and pulled us to the restaurant where her mom works, and right into the kitchen. We then wandered to another restaurant to enjoy the ambiance of the pedestrian area–the children at play in the square, the other friends who walked by and stopped to chat, and good conversation with our Turkish “son.” And so it went–noticing people, art, and the quality of shade and breeze on a warm day.

This morning I walked our garden to dead-head, prune, and savor the wild growth of the season. Tiny grapes, olives and pomegranates, the peach tree finally waking up, and the last of the Seville oranges begging to be gathered from the tree’s top where I can’t reach. The young roosters next door, hatched earlier in the spring, have learned to crow. The paint on the ironwork has cured and we can re-string clotheslines and re-trellis the grapevines. Later I walked to the open window to answer my neighbor’s call from her balcony, and we chatted our news.

Today I notice, after crazy days of hard work adventures in the traffic of huge, crowded cities, the delights and blessings of simple village life.

Christine Sine May 23, 2014 - 6:16 am

Jeri that is wonderful

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