Saturday, January 22, 2011


Most days, I take a walk.

Most days, I look forward to it.

Not so today.

Call me a weather wuss if you will, but frankly, fifteen degrees Fahrenheit is just not a fun temperature for perambulating. Plus, with the sofa being all decked out in its splendid Saturdayness – with a big mound of blankets and a tall stack of books fresh from the library – the prospect of setting out simply for the sake of a good daily habit seemed senseless martyrdom.

But set out I did. Layered and bundled and more than a little cranky about it all. It didn’t help that I had to slow my usual pace, due to icy patches under the blowing snow. I saw not a speck of sunshine, or even sky. Just colorless cloud cover. The wind carried out an ancient grudge against my face. My fingers stiffened. My nose ran. I thought, “You know, it probably wouldn’t have hurt to have skipped my walk today.” Or words to that general effect.

Yet despite all that – or maybe because of all that? – as I rounded the last corner and saw my home come into view, as I thought of the warmth and the family and the hot cocoa that awaited me, as I contemplated returning to my cozy sofa/cat/book nest – I felt that little lift that comes from a good walk. It’s a physical feeling, but a mind one as well: a subtle but powerful buoyancy.

And it suddenly occurred to me that my other daily habit, the one that I haven’t been so daily about in quite some time, gives me that exactly that feeling as well. Which is to say, writing regularly brings about wonderful moments of being nicely afloat in oneself.

And so it was that today’s walk -- a cold, dreary trudge that for most of it had my face saying “So this must be what a Botox treatment feels like” – ultimately left me feeling invigorated, warm, and recommitted to pursuing the regular habit of my writing routine.

All in all, a darn nice walk.

And a darn nice cup of hot cocoa as well.


Lindsay N. Currie said...

Oh, this was a nice post. A good reminder of how it sometimes takes very little to put us back in the writing mood!

Kelli @ writing the waves said...

Gotta love that hot cocoa. :) You are a trooper. I am so ready for spring!

Ann Finkelstein said...

My walks tend to be on weekends. You've inspired me to walk more often.

elizabethanne said...

This was so good -- great imagery! Your writing gave me that upward lift that you speak of. I'll think of you as I do my daily writing tomorrow. (You thought I was going to say daily walk, didn't you? Hmmm... maybe that is a habit I, too, need to pursue.)

Amy LV said...

Oh, I am inspired. Thank you. This is something I have been meaning to do daily too: walk. I will with you in mind. Daily writing is happening, the daily walk needs to too. A.

Kelly said...

Good for you for getting out in the cold. I love to walk in our neighborhood. There is a lot of trees and hills, so it is a great workout, plus beautiful. But I am a fair weather fan. I only walk when it's nice out!!! So needless to say, I haven't walked since October!! In the winter I do Wii workouts!!
But I do enjoy my hot cocoa in the winter.

Julie Hedlund said...

I love this line: writing regularly brings about wonderful moments of being nicely afloat in oneself. So true and yet, like exercise, writing regularly is one of the things we writers seem to make every excuse to avoid. Such strange creatures we are, to steer clear of things that make us happy and healthy...