I love walking. It’s one of my favourite activities, and my favourite way to get from one place to another. It’s a way to explore, breathe the air, and simply be in a place. When walking, my mind naturally becomes quiet and I focus on what is around me. My body settles into a rhythm, a smooth pace that is not hurried, but brisk enough to be invigorating. I like a good walk to leave me a bit out of breath, but not gasping for breath, and with plenty of time to pause, observe, and perhaps take a few photos.
The last Spotted Photo Theme was vehicles, a theme I thought I was not going to participate in because I could think of no vehicle that particularly appealed to me. But then I thought that if vehicle can be loosely defined to refer to any means of transportation, then I do have a favourite vehicle – my own two feet. In fact, the word vehicle is derived from the Latin word vehere, which means “to carry”, and that is exactly what my feet do as they carry the rest of my body over the ground. So this photo theme post will include photos of my favourite trails and places that my feet have carried me to (but thankfully, it will not include many photos of my feet!).
Most of the places I enjoy walking in are ones with little human presence, and walking in an urban area is a completely different experience. While I have enjoyed walking in town (usually on quiet back streets with little traffic), I find it difficult to relax in the same way that I do when in a forest or on a mountain.
Perhaps my favourite part of walking is how it encourages exploration. If you’re in a car, you go whizzing by on the road and you can only glimpse what’s out the window. And with the car’s heat, air-conditioning, and radio or music system, you’re well insulated from the heat, cold, sounds, and smells of the outdoors. A bicycle is better, but you’re still restricted to certain places and paths. On foot, you can go nearly anywhere: clamber over rocks, wade through a stream, climb a fence, duck under low-hanging branches. You can bend down to take a closer look at that rock, insect, or wildflower that caught your eye. You can sit and rest whenever you want to, or you can keep walking just a little bit further, just to see what’s around the next corner or over the next hill.