This step.That drifting leaf.

Earlier this week, I marked 222 days of committing to a daily walk with the community @thismorningwalk

In the most recent newsletter from Libby DeLana, we were invited to reflect on four questions about our journey so far.

What inspired you to start?

I began a daily walk in December 2021. I’d realised what an important part of my life a daily walk had been, whether a walk through allotments to school, a walk to work in a chocolate shop, a book shop, a sports shop, a restaurant, a longer walk down to a riverside for work in an art gallery and then a college, a short walk from train stations to classrooms and offices.

I’d walked myself through career changes, relationships, house moves, friendships and into my future. I looked up and realised my present was situated on a chair at a desk. I missed motion. I was spending more and more of my spare time in nature and I wanted this to form part of my day to day.

In November, I had just completed a boundaries course and learned to prioritise myself. This morning walk – not necessarily in the morning – could be one more small way, practised daily, to show myself I mattered. It’s working. After 200 days of walking, I reflected on the lessons I’m learning along the way.

What has been the biggest surprise?

Like many in the #thismorningwalk community, I only intended to walk until the new year. I’m still going. I didn’t think this kind of habit was possible for me.

The most joyful walk?

Oh so many, though I’m already excited for the reward of a stunning winter sunrise again. That first glimpse I get from the top of the road, and then once I’m in my favourite tree-filled park is an incomparable joy. I’m giggling just thinking about it.

The hardest walk? 

Oof, there have been numerous hard walks caused by weather and terrain but the hardest have been the ones where my mind is flitting anxiously from one thing to another, struggling to settle its wings in the present.

An unexpected but welcome part of this daily practice to slowly discover is the difficult art of being anchored to now. This step. That drifting leaf. The words my heart wants me to hear.

My writing commitment: I’m learning to honour my thoughts. I’m learning that my words can be shared before I’ve connected all the dots or learned everything there is to know. My writing can be a snapshot of a single moment in continually-evolving time.

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Reading in 2020

Ever since the days of Biff, Chip and Kipper, I have loved escaping in the endless number of worlds offered by books. There was a large chunk of my life when, contrary to expectations as I studied English and later taught it, I pretty much stopped reading altogether. In 2018,

The joy of disconnecting

As I sit under the boughs of a large oak tree, I gaze upwards through the sun-dappled leaves and catch a glimpse of possibility. It’s one of those idyllic moments in life that consist of pure and simple joy, at least it is if you can manage to shut out