“Walkers have walked to gain a sense of place, to improve well-being, to harness attention, to cultivate awareness, to gain new experiences, to explore new territories, to march for freedom, and to express care and devotion for others.” –Bonnie Smith Whitehouse
Robin, at Breezes at Dawn, is hosting Walktober, where you take a walk or a bike ride or a paddle and then share your journey. I borrowed the beginning quotation from Robin because I thought it beautifully expressed the many roles that one simple activity—walking—can provide. Symbolic, practical, protest, curiosity, devotion, exercise— all from walking. No fancy equipment necessary. Just a pair of sneakers and willing feet.
As I have mentioned in a previous post, not long ago walking was painful because of my weight and my arthritic knees. After having lost thirty pounds, walking is no longer as painful, which means I can go short distances and actually enjoy it. (Looking forward to losing more weight and going for longer winter hikes.)
One of my favorite walks is to the Narrows Ponds, about one-quarter of a mile from my house. There is lots of water in Winthrop, but surely the Narrows are among the prettiest.
Yesterday, was one of those October days that makes a person glad to be alive. All the humidity was gone, the air was crisp, and the sky was a piercing blue.
Leaving our driveway, Clif and I turned left, down the long hill to the Narrows. See? I am not exaggerating one bit when I refer to our home “in the woods.”
On the way we saw a yellow fern glowing in the sun,
a chipmunk on a rock,
and walls made long ago when the trees were chopped down and fields stretched all the way to the Narrows. Hard to imagine our road looking like this and comforting to think about how forests can make a comeback.
At the bottom of the hill, we saw a glimmer of deep blue—sky and water—through the bright lace of leaves.
Then a sign reminding us how important this water is to Winthrop.
A short ways later, the Lower Narrows glittered to our right,
and the Upper Narrows to our left.
There’s not much color this year with the changing leaves. Perhaps it’s because of the drought. Or maybe it’s the many storms we’ve recently had, bringing relief to the drought but blowing the bright leaves off the trees. No matter. It’s a place of beauty, with or without colorful foliage.
After gazing at the water and taking pictures, we headed back up the hill, where we saw mushrooms by the side of the road,
as well as our neighbor’s chickens pecking and looking for tidbits.
Finally, our own snug home tucked in the trees.
Once inside, I made cup of cranberry-orange tea, given to me by a friend, and wrote this post, a record of a short but oh so lovely walk in October 2020,