Grit Blogs > Arrows and Minnows

Walks Smooth the Sheets

By Caleb Regan, Managing Editor

Tags: thought, focus, spiritual healing, Kansas University, campus,

A portrait of the author, Caleb ReganWalks are always good on the mind and spirit, and there’s no better place in Lawrence, Kansas, to walk than around the campus of Kansas University. Recent strolls through the hills and valleys of KU have reminded me why I like going for walks so much in the evening, and why I never minded spending 10 hours at a time on campus.

Gwen and Cali, my retriever, take a break from our walk as the sun goes down on the KU campus.

Apart from the exercise, to me, walks are about clearing my mind and organizing, even focusing, my thoughts.

Here at the office, it helps, no doubt, to get up from my desk and take a stroll around the mile-long industrial park. I return to my work area feeling rejuvenated and focused on the tasks at hand.

But at the end of the day, it’s different. Ernest Hemingway once compared unwinding with an evening cocktail to smoothing the sheets before bed. When you work with your mind all day, you need that release to wash out all your thoughts and refocus them so you can set them aside for the night and pick them back up – hopefully in a fresh way– the following day. For me, walks work in the same way as a cocktail worked for Hemingway. I’ve enjoyed the evening cocktail too, but I find the walk organizes and focuses my thoughts, rather than just pushing them to the back of my mind.

For others, it may be doing the chores, knitting, cooking or reading.

I strive for the chance to live in a situation where chores are that release for me. However, I’m not in a position to live in the country yet, but I sure do like to wind down with a walk through KU’s campus.

We all need a release. What about you? How do you smooth the sheets?

Caleb Regan and his wife, Gwen, live in rural Douglas County, Kansas, where they enjoy hunting, fishing, and raising and growing as much of their own food as they can. Caleb can’t imagine a better scenario than getting to work on a rural lifestyle magazine as a profession, and then living that same lifestyle right in the heartland of America. Connect with him on .