Oh, the places you’ll go! I don’t remember which graduation ceremony I was attending when someone pulled that line out along with the Dr. Suess book that goes along with it. There was probably some reference to a journey starting with placing one foot forward. Those moments always seem to call for hyperbole of the highest order. But I think I would like to do some cross country trip just by walking it. Seeing the sights in slow motion, being able to stop at any moment without having to worry about traffic or the pilot saying “if you look out your window”.
Life is about those small moments that effect you in a large way. Some person standing on the edge of a dock painting what they see and it makes you look out onto the landscape just a little bit differently. It isn’t about seeing what they see, just giving yourself an opportunity to admire what they are envisioning.
Once in a while I put the Travel Channel on and watch some show about hidden venues in various towns. Places that until they were broadcast globally were the favorites of people in town. Maybe they served great ice cream or the chef spend two days marinating some meat and of you were the 26th person to order it you were out of luck. Word of mouth gone wild!
Without being on foot, I wouldn’t have this great story about having visited this little town in Austria where my Filipino friend was pulled into an Om-pa band. They had never seen someone like him and rewarded his efforts with Apple Schnapps [which quickly got him drunk!] If we had just kept driving or had taken the train like a few other people, we would have missed that.
I’m a big fan of Impressionist Art. Walking around some of the world’s museums has been a joy. Hours spent looking for a print of this Monet painting I absolutely adore has been a wonderful experience. Having spoken to people in gift shops, art history majors trying their best to hand sketch their version of a Master’s work, and even some random person with a well-worn catalog they carry to mark what they have seen in their journeys has led me to continue my chase for my obsessive desire.
For someone with a reputation for being cranky about people, I enjoy learning something new from each and every one of them. Walking through a National Park with a ranger, being lectured on the rock formations is a different type of history than what I learned in school. My mind considering what was happening thousands of miles away when this layer was formed.
If I were honest it is more personal than just seeing new things. It is about the feeling I remember of small hands wrapped around mine. Whether it was a kid or an adult, some of my most precious and simple memories are about walking someplace. At times there might have been complete silence or voices laughing so loudly others were staring. Racing forward at times when other couldn’t keep up. Every visit with my grandfather we went for a walk. Feed the ducks, go to the park to watch people fly their model airplanes, listen to him tell me about his brothers and how I should watch out for mine. The journeys weren’t unique, but each one was special.
Walking someplace, any place lets me see the world the way I like to. In simple terms. Leave the complexity of work or health, relationship issues or even dying someplace else and feel the breeze on my skin. Smell the leaves turning vibrant colors even as children ride their bikes through the piles at the curb. For too long I raced to get somewhere, a little harder on the pedal. Now each of those steps, while being a little harder than they once were, means everything.
In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Trains, Planes, and Automobiles.”