It’s been some time since I devoted a blog post to hiking. This is mostly due to the fact I haven’t done much lately, much to my chagrin. But a bad back does tend to put a crimp in things. However, that being said, I AM healing my back in part by gentle walks in the nearby Lincoln Woods in RI. And last weekend, Mike and I met up with a good friend and hiked around Bigelow Hollow in Union, CT. All easy, meandering hikes perfect for rehabbing and re-strengthening one’s back, not to mention soothe the mind and soul — frankly, my favorite benefit to be gained from hiking. Walking in the woods is incredibly meditative because one must be so present. In fact, if you’re not, you’re likely to trip over a root or something. Even the most benign of hikes requires full attention to where you’re stepping. That kind of slowing down and present attention is a gift I like to cultivate as often as possible.
Getting back into the woods made me realize how much I’d missed the utter calm that descends while I hike. Jittery nerves, racing mind, worries about all the tasks I must do … they all fade away as I breathe deep of fresh air, soak up the dappled sunlight, and take a child-like delight in hearing the rustle of fallen leaves as I walk the trails. I think hiking is the ultimate and perfect exercise. Not everyone may agree, but it suits me fine and I find that I can cultivate a feeling of vibrancy whether I’ve been hiking for an hour or for six.
November 17 is “Take a Hike” day and it’s also a Monday, which means that for many, it’s a work day and I’m no exception. Happily, I do have the benefit of working for myself and being able to shift my schedule as needed. And who am I to oppose such a lovely-sounding national day? So, I’m setting the intention to take myself over to Lincoln Woods on Monday morning and spend a little time making some noise as I walk through all the fallen Autumn leaves … and start my day off feeling balanced and calm. And I invite you to find some amount of time in which you can be outside and add some calm to your day.
So … GO TAKE A HIKE! 🙂
Photo source: Fix.com