Grit Blogs > Cow Pie Kid

The Power to Heal: Walking

Robert PekelI began walking 2 miles a day about a month ago, after my once-every-five-year visit to the doctor. I had gone to the same doc for over 30 years, and he always thought I was doing fine. Well, he retired, and I was handed over to a young girl.

She seemed very nice, but she constantly wanted me to take tests, blood tests, c-scans, etc. I guess she was certain I was going to die. Well hell, I already knew I was going to die someday.

Anyway, I have always been blessed with good health, but decided because I was getting older it was time to concentrate on a few lifestyle changes. So I fired the doctor and started walking.

I like to walk. I feel good doing it, feel even better after a walk, and always look forward to the next walk. My back is stronger and my energy level is higher. I have found walking is much like floating down a river. Life slows down, and the inner clock shifts into the natural flow of real life — I repeat: real life. Thinking is clearer when I walk. Thoughts flow freely into and out of my mind, and I enter the world of the eternal now. I think this is where my trusty dog, Beau, lives. It’s a cool place.

Anyway, my walk takes me past lovely, green, farm fields, newly-built subdivisions, and patches of dense woods. One particular patch of woods has bushes near the road where I stop to enjoy a few fresh blackberries. This year, the berries tasted off. I didn’t think about it much, but about a week later I noticed all the brush alongside the road was brown and dying. I soon realized that our electric company had sprayed poison on the all flora to keep it from growing into the lines. Whereas they used to cut the brush back, they now just apply herbicides. I hope no unsuspecting children eat those berries. The electric company has a long history of being a bad neighbor.

A little farther down the road, I pick up the delightful scent of wild rose. Around the next bend, a couple of horses lazily grazing stop to look at me; finding nothing interesting, they go back to eating the fresh grass. I always wave to the cars driving by. Sometimes I know them, sometimes I don’t, but they almost always wave back. I like that.

Sometimes other folks are out walking. They are always friendly and happy. I wonder if more people walked, would the world be friendlier and happier?