I began this blog in part due to the insights and revelations that seem to come when our three dogs and I take our morning walk, usually through the woods or on the beach or by a stream. I thought that committing to writing this blog would encourage me to be more diligent about exploring these ideas that might otherwise be lost. Even though I seldom am without pen and paper and often pause to make note of a thought or idea as we walk, the process would often go no further. With this blog I have been able to revisit some of those ideas and explore them further with the added benefit of input from others which can help to polish, redirect, or challenge those ideas, improving them in the process.
I tweaked my back a little last week while digging a ditch (my wife keeps telling me to let the kids do that kind of stuff but I seem to be too stubborn to acknowledge my age) and then stepped wrong while walking the next morning, causing the half mile walk back to the truck stretch into the afternoon. Since then my walks with the dogs have amounted to driving to a park, walking fifty yards or less to a bench, and watching the dogs while resting my back and exercising my discretion. The back is getting better and none too soon. Chewy (the cocker-spaniel Australian shepherd mix) and Nic (the lab) are looking fine, but Chubbs (aptly named lab mix) and I are starting to look a little chunky without the aerobics. I find that walking really does stimulate my mind to explore more deeply than I might when surrounded by the normal distractions, and the activity moves the blood and stimulates the brain.
Another benefit of my daily walks has been an increased passion which, I think, improves my creativity. I find myself more inclined to sit and pour my emotion into a piece of writing or more focus into a woodcarving. Just being a little closer to nature is invigorating and renewing. I find that the farther I go into the mountains, or down the beach or along the creek, and as the sounds of civilization are increasingly concealed by the soothing wall of gurgles and crackles and the call of the hawk and the rustle in the air as the wood ducks take flight, I can walk deeper into those places in my mind and find previously hidden treasures which might have forever lay unclaimed.
Just a little note on the big push by President Obama and the democrats desperate push on their health insurance overhaul. Don’t change health care and call it reform just because you said you were going to do it; change health care and call it reform because you can make it better. Take the time to get it right, and don’t pass anything unless we have had a chance to know everything that it changes.