Saturday, July 7, 2018

Why I Love Walking

It doesn't matter if we're experiencing the coolness of falltime or a day soaked in the hot sun of summer; random people have still stopped their cars to ask me if I want a ride somewhere. Maybe there are a number of really creepy individuals with bad intentions, or maybe these folks are just kind-hearted. Perhaps there's a mixture of both. Whatever the case, there have been quite a few times in this past year when I've heard Ma'am, do you want a ride? Do you need me to take you somewhere?

It's got me thinking about the disconnect that we often feel with nature. It's normal to jump into an air conditioned car and drive to various activities. If we have an attached garage for our car, we don't even have to step outside until we arrive at our location. Insulated in our private vehicles, we are transported from one place to another. It's normal to drive, so it's what we do. And if we see people who aren't driving, we pause, maybe wondering is something wrong?

Cars are nice, and there's nothing wrong with owning and driving a car. The city where I live is extremely spread out, so using a car is necessary for traveling a lot of the time. However, we're a one-car family, and I often don't borrow the car while my husband is at work. We, thankfully, now live in a part of town that is more pedestrian-friendly than other parts of the my son and I can just walk.

My shadow does not deceive you. The baby bump is ginormous now!
Not only is walking great exercise, but it's a chance for us to connect with the world. We use our five senses to hear the birds singing, the dogs barking, the cars zooming. We smell the fresh air, the scent of burgers wafting over from the fast-food joint. We touch the worn button on the stoplight and the overgrown leafy branches that we push past. We taste the saltiness of sweat as we move under the the sun's rays. And we see life-instead of just glancing briefly out of a window, we truly stop and see the world that surrounds us. We look at the dandelions that brighten the grass near the sidewalk. We stop and gaze at the shiny fire engines.

Not only that, but we encounter others. When I drive, my typical form interacting with other people is by shaking my head and muttering when other drivers don't use a turn signal or ignore other basic traffic laws. But when we walk, we are able to greet other people. Sometimes, these brief encounters don't seem to matter much, but other times, they make an impact. There's a middle-aged man who lives nearby. We usually wave and say hi! but don't even know his name. A few weeks ago, he told us that he has cancer, and we've been praying for him ever since. On one occasion, a nice old lady happened to reach a crosswalk at the same time as us, and we started casually chatting. As it turns out, we realized that she is a good friend of our neighbor, and we had briefly met one time months beforehand.

While driving in a car is convenient (and, at times, fairly necessary), I think that I miss out on some beautiful gifts when I'm stuck inside the car. We live in a wondrous world, surrounded by incredible people, and if I'm focused on my own schedule (and the clock) as I zoom down roads, I often forget to acknowledge God's amazing work. Take a walk sometime, and open your eyes to see the world in a new light. I honestly don't think you'll be disappointed at what you find! 


  1. I agree with you! Walking around my neighborhood, I see so many things I didn't notice in the car, and I'm amazed! Your comment about how nteractions are different when walking than driving is also notable. Walking is a great way to connect with the people around you.

    1. Lianna, it's so awesome that you walk around your neighborhood! Keep that up the good, community-building work :)

  2. We walked to get around often in China, and I loved it! It was great to observe the world! We have only one car here but unfortunately while I can take walks behind my apartment complex...I can't really go anywhere much by walking because we live at the top of a big hill and even down at the main road, the traffic is quite dangerous and there's no real sidewalks (in places where there are sidewalks, motorcycles drive on them to get around the traffic...). ShenZhen was also set up really well for pedestrians, and I miss that!