Four Walks

I’ve only taken four walks so far this year. But four walks, I hope you’ll agree, are better than none.


It was January. The last time I had walked the path, there had been a few brave flowers still standing their ground. Now, the plants were brown and withered. Judging from the amount of ice on the ground, the path had only just become passable again. No one seemed to know or care. The path was empty. Perhaps everyone else knew that the frigid air would send pains through their sinuses and irritate their lungs and make their ears ache, like it did to me.

I noticed a stand of white trees, slender and densely packed. Birch, maybe. Their branches were so fine and all headed straight up, that they reminded me of hair. This, I thought to myself, must be how the world looks to a flea standing on the back of a dog. Then it hit me—I am a flea, an Earth flea.


I took a walk to the post office, which just so happens to be next to a bakery. Does the naughtiness of buying and eating pastries outweigh the good of fresh air and exercise? I don’t know, but I do know that I must bring more money next time so that I don’t have to decide between a cream horn and an apple pocket, but can buy both!


Faithful Reader and I tried to walk off some bad news together. A walk won’t cure your ills, but it will make you tired enough to stop obsessing on them. It may also reveal a new route to you, . . .


. . . such as a route to the grocery store, a route that you can walk without the constant risk of becoming some crappy old car’s new hood ornament. I took that route again on Monday. It’s only 2-3 miles round trip, which isn’t too bad, even if you’re carrying a bag of groceries on the return trip. As I walked back, it occurred to me that the fact that is missing from so many discussions of renewable energy is that all animals, including people, are powerhouses capable of converting food into energy. We are all renewable energy sources.

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