The Art of Walking

I am currently smitten by Henry David Thoreau, so much so that I am on the brink of fangirling over a man who lived two centuries ago. I know, it sounds pathetic.

I was reading his essay, Walking, moments ago. He talked about the art of Walking and how only a few completely understood it. Thoreau refers to taking walks – sauntering. Not the kind that one does for the sake of exercise, like a sick taking medicines. It is not also meant as walking for an errand, for which he refers to as tours instead of expeditions.

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is only commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all the wordly engagements.

I think, walking for him is as essential as breathing. He even believes that mechanics and shopkeepers of yore, cooped inside their shops all day long,  deserve some credit for not committing suicide.

I can’t help but feel guilty. My job requires me to sit in front of a monitor for eight hours for five straight days every week. It does not sound tiring. I’m away from the tropical sun, burning brain cells instead of sweat. I only walk a few meters to the jeepney stop and a couple more to reach the house I’m staying in. It was a boring routine.

I envy Thoreau. He got to live in an era where modernisation did not yet eat up a great part of nature. A time when nature lay supreme over skyscrapers and fancy parks and winding roads. It would have been amazing to go out of the house and explore the woods and the world beyond, to cease being a part of the “civilized society” and to blend in with nature instead. I could do that back home, where we have plains and hills and a river that meanders far into the next town. I live in a city now where I only get to see bulidings and constructions sprouting from an empty lot every few months. I’m still thankful though, because in this particular city, you only need to take a few minutes to experience the mountain or the sea. The only problem is that, even those places were not spared from commercializations. The sea smells awful. You have to pay a lot to enjoy a breath of fresh air.

The last time I walked many miles and escaped the polluted city, we had a group camping at Cebu’s highest peak, Osmeña Peak. It was named after President Sergio Osmeña who used to go horseback riding in those ranges.

I forgot how many miles we traversed, but I was out of breath by the time we reached the camping site. The walking took more than two hours.

I found these interesting sights along the way though:

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This is a cabbage garden. We don't have this at home. Cabbages can only grow in colder places.

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I can say the exhausting trek was all worth it, especially when you get here:

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I wish I could do that every month. But getting there takes a very long bus ride, a scary ride up the mountainous town and a very lengthy trek.

Thoreau and the people of long ago were so lucky to easily access nature. And the man did get to improve his opportunities of walking and savoring true freedom, before the evil days of privatisation and modernisation came.

PS All photos are not mine. Credit goes to Kuya Rommel. @Rommel Bigno

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21 thoughts on “The Art of Walking

  1. A wonderful post!!!

    A topic so close to my heart, I have uncanny fascination for walking, I written a post on “Walking is Wonderful”, and as I keep walking everyday, I couldn’t have agreed anything more than what you have experienced and so beautifully expressed.

    Indeed I envy Thoreau, the art of walking…yes, modernization hadn’t eaten out the nature, perhaps we didn’t have much option to destroy it, today in the disguise of development we are on a rampage and we have lost the sense of balance and mankind has become unkind to nature…a paradox we are living with and not able to make a difference.

    The pictures are beautiful and we all love to escape from the concrete jungle into the heart of real nature where walking as blissful and as peaceful one can just imagine to be…it is just about the physical conditioning, it is about the holistic change in our thinking and the way we connect our mind with our soul…

    Happy Walking and Cheers to Nurturing Nature!!!
    😀

    Like

    1. “It is about the holistic change in our thinking and the way we connect our mind with our soul.”

      I couldn’t say it any better. I guess I have to do more of walking these days. Thank you for visiting, Nihar. Have a wonderful weekend and cheers to nurturing nature! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Sunday, I am normally off to the nearby National Park for my evening walk and it is invigorating and it gives my thought the vehicle to explore uncharted territories and enough food for thoughts to feed my post…walking indeed is wonderful and an art I am constantly trying to master it and I may not but the journey is enough to make me a better person and thoughts that can inspire and aspire…
        cheers indeed.
        Happy Walking!!!
        😀

        Like

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