Take a Hike
Except this: I kind of have a walk phobia.
Seriously, you say. PeaceBang, that is too neurotic even for you.
It's true, though. I don't know what it comes from, but it takes a lot of gumption for me to head down the hill from the house to take a walk. I've done it pretty frequently in the past year -- especially when the weather is perfect -- and I feel safe in our little woodland preserve. It's about 2 miles around the loop, and I like to stop at the edge of the North River where there's a little cabin on the water and look at the sparkles on the water, and breathe. Sometimes I stretch out on the warm deck. Sometimes other walkers find me there and I smile sheepishly up at them, i-Pod buds in my ears.
Emerson said that he and his daughter Ellen were professors of walkology. In fact, the whole Transcendentalist movement could be fairly said to have been conducted during walks shared by brilliant friends. Think of Margaret Fuller and Hawthorne, or Emerson and Thoreau, or Emerson and Alcott, or Thoreau and Melville and --Moby Dick and Hester Prynne! Wait! No! They're not real people! --
all strolling through Walden woods expounding on great literary and spiritual themes.
Think about it, then think about how frozen with awkward paralysis PeaceBang feels when she's ready to head out the door for a walk.
How does one go for a walk?
A time step, I can do. A waltz. A foxtrot, even.
A saunter from point A to point B in Barcelona, I can do.
A stroll into the village to pick up a baguette and some raspeberries, I'm good at.
A purposeful stride from Macy's all the way over to Nordstrom's to get to a shoe sale, eat my dust.
But a pointless WALK, the good ole American WALK, I am at a loss. I feel like a total tool. Nothing makes me more self-conscious.
I live on a busy main street, so a walk down my own street is fraught with dangers: busy suburbanites whizzing by in big SUVs, a latte in one hand and a cell phone in the other. I've taken walks down my street to get to littler streets, but I always feel endangered. And then it just seems ridiculous to drive somewhere to take a walk.
I prefer city walks. I like to people-watch and window shop, and to get lost in a crowd. I do not like country walks. Again... what do you people do on walks? Maybe Dan Harper will coach me on this. He seems to be a real pro. I am jealous of his ability to take WALKS.
When I lived in Pennsylvania, my senior colleague and his lovely wife arose early every morning and took walks together. I have always thought that this was the most romantic thing of all time. Walking, talking, planning the day, being wholesome and outdoorsy together in their matching LL Bean fleece pullovers. Boy, is that not me.
But I still think it's important to take walks.
There. Now you feel exceedingly well-adjusted, don't you? And the next time you take a walk, you'll wrack your brain trying to figure out why anyone on earth could make such a difficult job of it.