How to Do Nothing…


First of all, three cheers for the TPW’S who made their way to Melissa’s race in Banff and went the distance!  From their photos, it looks like they had a wonderful time in such a beautiful part of our country.

We who hadn’t joined them, walked our usual route in Mount Pleasant cemetery on Saturday morning, enjoying the fall colours and crisp air but the warm sun of a beautiful blue sky day.  It’s so peaceful and quiet in the cemetery (I guess that’s not surprising given it’s a cemetery) that I contemplated once again the many pleasures of walking.

According to the NYTimes daily newsletter that I receive, the artist Jenny Odell has written a book called: “How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy” and says “To do nothing is to hold yourself still so that you can perceive what is actually there.”  For me, that is the greatest pleasure of walking.  Of course I hear about all the health and social benefits from walking but something not so often referenced is how the pace of it allows me to “see” the environment around me.  To clear my mind and just observe, absorb and reflect upon my surroundings.  I am so busy trying to stay connected, responding and reacting to events reported in the news, that it is such a pleasure to slow down and just walk companionably with others.  The familiarity of walking lets me fire up all my senses so I can watch and listen to where I find myself, in the time I have left.

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