Okay, we're down to The Monthly Dishtowel. Semi-monthly? I don't know where these two weeks have gone, but there hasn't been much to write about, apparently.
The neighbor I walk with is ill. No, not with the virus (thank goodness), but she has lupus and is having a bad flare, so my walk today was solo.
I took a different route, partly as an experiment, partly as a reaction to a podcast I heard this morning. The woman who records it is here in Britain, by coincidence just up the road from me, in Manchester. The little podcast is only a couple of minutes long; its theme is "positivity." (I will append a link if I remember. If the system allows.) I'm kind of a take-it-or-leave-it listener. I might mull over what I can use, and quickly forget what I can't.
Today's was about walking and nature and so on. Here in the UK we have long since - two months, I think - been restricted to going outside once a day. (No, it's not enforced by the authorities. Yes, people with dogs and kids generally go out and about more frequently but still maintain distance.) I try to make the most of the once-per-day outing by getting in a solid hour - I'm up to between 2-1/4 and 2-1/2 miles per stint. I'm rather pleased with myself for that, as it has taken a long time to get there. After I broke a bone in my foot I thought I might always limp and have to use a cane.
Back to the positivity: the podcaster was saying that she usually walks fast, it being a means of exercise, but a few days ago she decided to slow down, look around, take in the scenery she was passing through. She mentioned the hallmarks of spring having sprung. Engaging all her senses, she even touched the bark of a tree, just to feel its texture and to add to the enrichment of her walk.
Today, with no conversational distraction and no compulsion to walk quickly I did just as she suggested, slowing down, sauntering really rather than walking briskly. Lots of colorful and scented blossoms abound. I watched a bird picking up bits of stuff that had to be nest-construction materials. I stopped to talk to a watch-cat on a wall, certainly a pet as he had a belled collar. And I reflected on how forlorn the playground in our park looks - it's chained off, its use forbidden pending better days.
I'm hoping my neighbor - my friend - is better tomorrow. But in the meantime, I will try to remember it's not all about speed. I need to slow down to smell the roses occasionally.
Carpe diem, people!
p.s. This is one of the links to her podcast:
I listen to it through Alexa skills, but apparently it's available to Google, Apple, Facebook, Twitter... pretty much any of the media formats. I'm not promoting the podcast, simply mentioning where I heard the idea about using daily walks for more than fitness. Nice to reconnect with The Earth from time to time. ;-)
Possibly a better link: www.thepresentercoach.co