Day 227

Remember when you were a kid and you ran through your neighborhood or lay in your backyard watching the clouds float by, and you were completely at ease? Everything was familiar and comfortable, you felt safe, and you felt…free. Didn’t you?

My Big Walker, Nanci — you may remember she is a “professional listener” — was out walking her dog last week when she felt nostalgic for that feeling of being truly home and present in her neighborhood, as she’d felt when she was a child.

“I’m always in my head,” Nanci said. “But on that walk I made a conscious effort to slow down, to look around, and to really take notice of my experience and my surroundings. I decided to be in the moment.”

The daily walk is a wonderful and accessible — dare I say simple? — chance to think about centering yourself in the moment and taking in your surroundings. It can sound a little new age-y but really it’s something we did naturally when we were kids, long before we’d ever heard of the idea of being Zen or chuckled at the admonishment, Don’t just do something, stand there!

Personally I am not one who likes to just “stand there.” But I try to be open to the many moments of each day, and the daily walk, like any daily practice, is precisely the time when I remind myself to slow down mentally, to be here now, and to recognize that my ‘home’ is something I can always carry inside me, so that I can feel at home wherever I may be.