I love to walk in nature and I especially love to walk alone. In South Africa .... or where I live anyway .... there are not many places one can do so safely. At the wild coast I walk alone for miles and as long as I keep the fishermen in sight (even just a dot on the horizon), I feel safe. It's a time that I unwind completely with not a worry in the world.
"It's when I'm walking that I come closest to an affection for myself." - Shawna Lemay
During the build up to my daughter's wedding we promised ourselves a healthy walking holiday at the wild coast once everything quietened down. Unfortunately that never happened because our fox terrier was badly savaged by our bull terrier. Her pelt was almost ripped right off her body resulting in an air pocket between flesh and fur. It's been over a month that her little body has been battling against the infection she developed under her skin but today I can finally say she has turned a corner in her recovery.
During this time of watching over her, whilst she fought for her life, my thoughts have taken me to our favourite beach walks for solace.
I found a few quotes on Shawna Lemay's blog that sum up why I find these walks such a balm to my spirit ......
"There is an element of repetition in the act of walking where you can forget. And there is a tiredness. A peacefulness. I think that when you are really alone you have a fragility. The feelings are more intense. You have more of a feeling of the eternity of things." - Frederic Gros
"And walking with a camera is yet another kind of walking. One's looking becomes more delicate, sharper, refined. One loses oneself in the walking, and then is lost again, while one focuses in on the leaf, twig, or dried seed pod that has attracted one's attention." - Shawna Lemay
I loved this post on Shawna's blog.
One can walk for days on a wild coast beach and never see a soul other than cattle and goats and perhaps the occasional herdsman with his dog.
For me, it's a walking meditation
kicking up water in the shallows for miles
dreaming of the totems I will carve
incorporating the pebbles and driftwood I've gathered
Catching fish for lunch every day makes one feel healthier
"To find the universal elements enough; to find the air and the water exhilarating; to be refreshed by a morning walk or an evening saunter.... to be thrilled by the stars at night; to be elated over a bird's nest or a wildflower in spring - these are some of the rewards of the simple life." - John Burroughs
"The kind of dog you have will change the perfume of your walking. The degree to which your dog stops to sniff and mark territory, the pace you keep ...... " - Shawna Lemay
"Walking is important to my practice, a way to begin. It opens the route between the external world and the inner world of the studio. On my ritual paths, I take notice of changes that occur -- daily and seasonally -- recording what attracts my attention, 'navigating' my way through time." - Kim Kopp
"Walking..... is how the body measures itself against the earth" - Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A history of walking.