For another thing, walking, simply by virtue of its being exercise - albeit low-impact - increases blood flow to the brain, which improves thinking, and specifically, memory.
I love riding my bike, when I'm in a hurry, say, but there's something grounding - literally - about walking. If I walk one mile - 5,280' - at the rate of 1.5' per step, that is many, many times that my feet touch the ground in that mile (I'm not in the mood for math today; actually, I never am), with each step adding immediately and directly to my feeling of well-being and strength and ability to face the world (gosh, if I owned this idea and could market it, I'd be rich).
Today I took a walk out the West Tisbury Road, to gather my thoughts, as well as a few images, some of which I share here:
This field has been used for growing hay for as long as I know of, and one of my favorite memories is of seeing Phillip Jeffery Norton - well into his elder years - raking this field by hand with his long, wide, wooden hay rake.
Now, that would be a picture.
|Queen Anne's lace and coreopsis|
|Queen Anne's lace|
|Our golden jewel of the fields, butterfly weed|
Sometimes on my walks, I might hop up and walk on top of a stone wall I find along the way, such as this 3'-high wall on the edge of Floyd and Janet Norton's property.
Why? One, because it's there; two, because I still can; three, it's the way I keep the balance mechanism in my inner ear working properly; and four, because it's a way of seeing the world from a different perspective - remember? like we did when we were kids. I don't ever want to lose that ability. Yesterday I was lying on my back in the grass, looking through the sun-haloed leaves of a big old oak, watching the sky and the clouds (oh - be sure to look in the northern sky tonight, right after dark, for the aurora borealis, a result of a big - big? try cosmic-proportioned - storm that erupted on the sun yesterday). At one point, I turned onto my side. All the trees and houses were sideways - a little dizzifying to have the horizon at a 90-degree angle, but interesting - important, also, to keep our brains young according to latest research, to see the world that we take for granted in new ways, from many different angles. Yes, that's how we stay young, folks, by acting young and thinking young (oh, I wish I owned this idea, too).
|Another sign of summer's waning: goldenrod at Sweetened Water Pond.|
So, when you see me walking, remember, I'm not doing nothing - I'm thinking.