I love to walk. As simple as it sounds, walking gives my brain freedom—freedom from chaos and stress. It renews me, physically and mentally. I know that to some, walking might stimulate boredom. But for me, it stimulates my flow of energy.
Of course, walking along the side of the road or in a neighborhood is different from walking through forest, or trees, or on a hiking trail. That’s where the magic truly lies, for me. Being ensconced in nature, and moving through it, gives me joy—no matter how I began feeling that day. The real challenge is getting myself outside while still in the midst of negative emotions. But when I do venture there, walking allows my mind to sort through what it needs to sort through; and if I walk long enough, it becomes meditative.
Throughout all of literature, the greatest magic is always found within nature, far away from people. Magic might find its way to cities and tend to be the final piece to toppling kingdoms, but it seems to be found almost exclusively in places that nature has nurtured—or overrun. Within those stirring tales of fantasy lies truth; even here, in reality, magic is found most potently within places not yet filled with people. When you travel away from the smoke and clutter that defines our clustered way of living and walk through dirt and grass and trees, do you feel wonder? When you walk to the edge of the Grand Canyon and stare down for what feels like the entire stretch of the earth, do you not feel awe? Magic can be found when we open our eyes to see it. Sunrises and sunsets are consistent sources of magic. Notice, the next time you’re outside for one, if you feel the earth yawning. Maybe you can even feel her stretching, if you stay still for long enough. And is that not magic?
Walking brings to me small sources of this magic, so that I am not constantly overwhelmed. Rather, I’m constantly refreshed. As I let my mind settle into now-familiar modes of meditation as my feet move steadily across the ground, I feel transformed. My mind calms down; time slows down; and suddenly, I’m right here. I watch the wind move blades of grass. I feel the sun warm my skin, even as the temperature drops. I get to watch, even if it’s not for long, nature move. And that is awe-inspiring.
I think that sometimes we get so busy in our lives that we feel like we don’t have the time to get out and walk through the park or even just through your backyard, but I challenge you to do so. Nature moves on a different schedule than we do—there’s no rush. And once you allow yourself to meditate with Mother Nature, things are different. Maybe, just maybe, you might receive a little bit of nature-magic for yourself.
To help prepare you, listen to Megan’s guided walking meditation!