A few mornings ago I decided to take Caroline to school, then drop off my car at the dealership for an oil change.
When my husband heard of this plan he offered to pick me up and give me a ride home.
I was all: That's okay. I'm going to run home.
And he was all: Are you sure??
And I was all: Not if you ask me in that tone.
But it turns out I was sure. I really did want to run home.
The one major difference between running in the city and running out in the middle of nowhere, as it happens, is that the Lululemon running skirt attracts a lot more attention in the city.
Gracias, Lululemon. Vielen dank.
But that came as a bonus surprise. What I really loved about the experience was simply the notion of running somewhere. Like, getting from point A to point B by using my feet. You know? Depending on where you live or what stage you are in life, the art of doing so may not be especially viable.
When I was younger, I used to walk everywhere. And I'm not talking short, convenient distances. My parents just expected me to get myself places without the aid of transportation.
(Well, I did use my dad's crappy ten speed bike to ride 30 k to school each day through every imaginable degree of Canadian weather, on a meager country highway teeming with sadistic truck drivers, but that's another story altogether.)
No, I'm talking about music lessons and stuff like that. I used to walk from school to my piano teacher's house every week. It took about half an hour. And from there I'd walk downtown to the library and read for awhile before it was time to walk to another music teacher's house for a theory lesson. Another hour. In the cold. In the darkness. By myself.
Did I like it? No. I loved it.
If memory serves, I'm pretty sure I loved almost every single minute of it. Walking. Noticing things. Watching seasons change. Picking up chesnuts. Skating on icy sidewalks in the crackling cold. Losing sensation in my extremities. Thinking about things. Wondering.
Wondering if I'd freeze to death before reaching the library.
Some Saturdays I'd walk with my little brother to the country store to linger and agonize over the purchase of a few dollar's worth of candy. How long did that take? The entire afternoon.
Best use of time ever.
My older brother and I walked miles along the creek which ran through our property, up and down, in search of the perfect trout. We walked and we talked, and sometimes we didn't say anything at all.
My mom used to punish us for fighting by making us walk up and down our endless driveway. I think we covered a lot of ground that way.
In my life today, it seems impractical to use walking as a functional method of transportation. Isn't that sad to say? The distances are too far. The time is never enough. Which is why I try not to miss a chance to walk, or to make my children walk, whenever possible.
It feels good to walk. It feels good to run. Most of the time I run a set course out in the desert that doesn't really get me to a particular desination. But in a way it does. In a way, something is definitely accomplished by the time I get back to where I started from.
It's not like I'm a good runner, either. That's not the point.
Nothing imprints itself so deeply on my mind, nothing keeps me both present in the moment and keenly aware of my surroundings, while also freeing me to a place where troubles fade away like my own two feet and the magic that happens when they move from point A to point B.