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Thursday, August 20, 2009

Go for a Walk...ANYWHERE

Lots of my friends were mountain hikers, but I used to love to walk in the desert. Descending into canyons, ascending again to cross a mesa, the crisp dry air…bliss.

There's none of that here in the uber-moist concrete canyons of Shenzhen, China.

But you know what? Walking is still a pleasure.

One of the "old friend" books I'd love to find and read again is Bruce Chatwin's The Songlines. Much of the book is a travelogue about Australia, especially the life of the Aborigines, but a large section near the end is a kind of notebook on nomadism.

It was there that I found something interesting. Chatwin says that the reason babies enjoy being rocked to sleep is that it mimics the movement of their mothers walking with them back in the time when all human beings were nomadic.

Hmm.

There is something pleasing about the rocking back and forth from side to side that happens as we propel ourselves forward. Striding out, head held high, arms swinging, just feels good, you know?

So: do it.

Go for a walk, even if it's just in the hallway of your office or apartment building. Don't wait for the holiday when you can hit the trail into the mountains or the desert.

Just walk.

You'll be happier.

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