Walking is completely under-rated. It is one of the most down-to-earth (literally and figuratively) modes of transportation that actually allows you to experience what your passing through. Being that life is consistently on fast forward, I took it upon myself to walk nearly everywhere this weekend. It was so cleansing and refreshing to really see things. Breath in my community and hear its pulse. I walked and I learned.
It began on Saturday morning when I woke up to the sunniest day our new Fall season had seen. Quickly throwing on a pair of yoga pants, some tennis shoes and my sun glasses, I walked out my front door and on to Beach Blvd. on Alki. No headphones or cell phone. Just me.
I have run this street and its sidewalks dozens of times over several years, and each experience is just as great as the last, but not memorable. I’m running and running but not looking and listening. So on Saturday, I walked for 2.5 hours and experienced what Alki really had here all along. I made sure to peak into every store front, looked down every alley between here and the bridge. I listened to my neighbors conversations and took note of strangers passing by. I saw 3 birthday parties, 4 volleyball matches, 2 sidewalk sales, 3 garage sales, 1 ice cream truck, 1 car wash rally, at least a dozen dogs, 4 cruise ships, 3 ferries, 2 para-sailors and enough smiles on peoples faces to keep me going.
Once I reached the bridge I turned around and entered Jack Block Park, which in my opinion must be one of Seattle’s cleanest public parks. I wondered that park for over half an hour walking down dead end corridors and peering through the gardens. I discovered hidden beaches and views of Seattle you can’t see from anywhere else.
On my way back I encountered a hugh mob of divers all gathering around the Water Taxi landing. They were all so lively and vivacious. A loud hum of chatter came from the crowd and I picked out small tips and tricks of diving and even a snippet of a story from one diver who encountered an octopus just that morning!
My walk that day ended with a sunburn and a whole new perspective on my little neighborhood by the sea! Today, I went for my usual run, but this time I stopped at the beach on the last 1/4 mile and walked down to the sand. I took off my sneakers and walked to the water. My feet were hot from the run and the cool water was the perfect relief. I walked the beaches edge until i couldn’t go further and then, with feet to pavement, walked back to my apartment reveling in the sunshine we’d been blessed with. I felt connected. I felt at peace.
My mini journeys this weekend inspired me to slow down more often. To” stop and smell the roses” is a saying that we seem to take lightly. So often I look upon an instant in a day and am taken aback at its quick arrival and fleeting passing. Wouldn’t it be genuine to take a moment and really live it. Instead of running to get somewhere, we could be walking to become someone.