Walking to Regain Your Senses
Go hiking. I dare you. No, really. Find some local trails or head further out from your living areas and explore. Okay, I can’t really say I’m a hiker, I tend to walk more than I hike per se, but when a walking trail becomes a hiking trail and vice verse, I don’t jump off of it screaming. Be ready for either and you’ll have a good day.
Why do I say that you should go hiking/walking? Not only is it a healthy activity, even if one is playing a game or just taking pictures, but it helps you to regain your senses...forces you to actually.
Regain my/your senses...yes, I mean that literally.
As we walk around, if at all, in cities and towns, we grow complacent. Nine times out of ten we are walking on flat and safe ground. We see houses, we see buildings, we see shops, we see malls. The list can go on. Our senses are inundated with input, so much so that in general we tend to filter most things out as regular and routine. Eventually we start to no longer see or hear them...yet, they are still there. We walk around with our proverbial blinders on and begin to have no clue as to what is going on around us anymore. At best, we are usually just going from point A to point B and wishing we had a fast travel button to use.
Think about going to walk in a park and what is it that comes to mind? There is an element of point A to point B, sure. But in general people think of green, in the grass and the trees, possible animals or at least animal sounds, and maybe the occasional sign or two pointing out picnic areas or “this way to” such things. And that’s about it.
Actually go to walk in a park and you get a whole different world. In some places, there is the lush grass beneath your feet. The possible dew on it in the mornings or the frost in winter. The sunlight coming down through the trees painting the ground in shadows. The green in the leaves as you look up and around painting their own pictures and adding more colors in the fall. Feel the cool breeze on a warm day as the boughs hold the sometimes harsh rays of the sun at bay.The songs of birds and animals as they live in what’s more natural to them. And yes, sometimes, there is even a playground where even as an adult, a swing set can help make you soar, and not just in physicality.
Think about hiking on trails or out in the true wilds and what comes to mind? Grueling effort. Treacherous land that can kill you, and that’s even just on the trails. Broken ankles after exhaustion and dehydration with the major benefit being sweat and tears...and that’s assuming you don’t drop the keys to your vehicle somewhere, out there.
Actually go to some hiking trails or somewhere out on the plains or up in the mountains and again, a whole different world presents itself. Natural beauty being a feast for the eyes. Landscapes that change in elevation, forcing the body to adjust and work when it otherwise wouldn’t have to. Discovery of plants and animals that one doesn’t always get to see. Finding a tree in a clearing where all you can find is peace and quiet. The smell of the sea air as you look out across it from the top point of a cliff. The horizon, unbroken by man, separating the land or sea and the sky and yet also being the string that ties them all together. Animals living without the need for man as nature created them to be able to do.
I urge you to find a time to either take a walk/hike, or sometimes both. Both are exercise while creating not only the energy while burning calories but taking into the soul all of the other senses in the input that is lost in our normal everyday lives. The greatest benefit is not even the exercise. It is the regaining of the appreciation of those buildings, of those cement roads and sidewalks, of all of the lights in the city as things that are still real and true and full of beauty.
That...and the fact that while hiking or walking on trails, you do sometimes have to mind where you put your feet. For not everywhere that you can walk is flat and dull.
Do it...to re-learn to live...and to keep on living.