In my previous post, I discussed my immense dislike for the Hobbies Question because of its promise of brevity and superficial understanding. I then conquered it by posing a question that ensured a more profound discussion of the individual, the Personal Satisfaction Question. But in my great semantic success, I had never gotten around to answering my own question-What activity gives me the most personal satisfaction?
Suddenly faced with the challenge of providing an apt response to such a question, my mind is reeling with the possibilities. But let’s see. If I had to pick one pastime that I singularly enjoy… it would be walking outside.
While I do enjoy reading classic literature, writing, and perusing the web to expand my intellectual horizons, there’s something about fresh air that I find overpowering.
There have been times when I’ve spent the majority of my day indoors, hunched back over my laptop, eyes bloodshot from staring at a screen, and my mind foggy with fatigue.
It is at those times that my mother so kindly ousts me from the house.
“Get some fresh air!” she calls as she quickly shuts the door behind her, leaving me to my fate.
Unaccustomed to the superlative light of the sun, I hold my hand over my eyes, uncomfortably blinking until they adjust. Wow, from the way I describe myself, I must seem like a cave dweller stepping out into the sun for the first time (Not far off, am I?).
I take a few reluctant steps forward before I am walking at a brisk pace, inhaling deeply to allow the cool air to fill my lungs. Rather than dismissively walking past the trees, I stop to admire them. The intense green of their foliage. Their lanky branches outstretched like arms to the sky. Their smooth wooden exteriors.They’re beautiful.
As I walk on, I realize that my mind is no longer plagued by the constant fatigue and fogginess of the indoors. Instead, it is clear, sharp, and strangely calm.
Walking for me is a bit like yoga, only better because I don’t have to keep reminding myself to keep my mind blank. I can examine the natural elements of the scenery and allow them to register fully. And for once, the constant hustle and bustle in my mind subsides, and I find myself enjoying the moment.
The murmur of the trees as they sway in the breeze. The seemingly endless stretch of pavement beneath my feet. The sudden rush of cars on the street. The startling trilling of birds. And the absence of words.
One might say it’s almost poetic.