Slow walking a 5k on a spectacular SundayPosted: April 29, 2012
Happy Sunday! I know that by the time this post goes out some of you may be finished or just about finished with Sunday. I hope it was a good one. Did you participate in Automattic’s Worldwide WP 5k? I did, and with probably one of the slowest times on record.
We are having an amazingly beautiful day here in the Bogs. I bet if I searched my blog, I’d find I use those two words — amazingly beautiful — quite often to describe the lovely days in northeastern Ohio. We have so many cloudy days that when the clouds disperse and the sun appears, I am amazed and awed and appreciative of the beauty.
Instead of “amazingly beautiful,” I could tell you that the sun was shining, the sky was mostly blue with some high, thin clouds streaking across it from time to time, and the wind was barely a breeze and a whisper blowing softly against my neck while I took my morning walk.
Those were not the only things that made it amazingly beautiful. They contributed to the beauty, but what made it amazing was the peacefulness and light of the early morning. It was by no means quiet. Birds were singing the most incredible songs, the kind that reach into the heart and soul, awakening something amazing within.
I want you to think of what you call the dawn chorus of the birds, that strange moment of nature just before the morning light seeps through. Suddenly, as you may have noticed if you have been lying awake, every bird in the neighbourhood breaks into song as though obeying some signal. For a time, while it is dark, the air is filled with orchestrated sound — the triumphant, challenging and positive sound of birds in song.
Now why is this so? What prompts the birds into such a performance unequalled at any other time during the day?… This massed heralding in of the day awakens the earth in a magical way…
When I say the morning chorus of the birds awakens the earth I mean that the characteristic song of the birds sets in motion a series of vibrations which react upon other forms of life. Remember, the soil of the earth is full of living micro-organisms. The plants are also living organisms. You, yourselves, are living organisms. Now, this is the beauty and wonder of it all — when one aspect of nature has been moved into a state of resonance it immediately relays its vibrational motion to something else.
~ Dr. Lascelles, A Pilgrimage With the Animals, 1982
It took me over two hours to complete my 5k. At a fast clip, I could probably walk it in about 40 minutes (which is close to my usual exercise pace of 12-15 minutes/mile). I was so captivated by the sounds and sights and feel of the morning that each step I took was slow, intentional, the sensation of the cool, damp grass and earth coming up through my shoes (Vibrams — “barefoot” shoes). There were patches of frost in the shady spots that melted quickly in the sun.
Smile, breathe and go slowly.
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
The simplest things dazzled the eye. Sunlight on the sprouting daylilies and the trunk of a tree.
A lone cattail against the background of the pond.
For a little while, before the slight breeze arrived, the surface of the pond was like glass, mirroring the trees surrounding it. By the time I thought to take a photo, there were small ripples playing on the water, making the reflections shimmy.
With the first step, the number of shapes the walk might take is infinite, but then the walk begins to define itself as it goes along, though freedom remains total with each step: any tempting side road can be turned into an impulse, or any wild patch of woods can be explored. The pattern of the walk is to come true, is to be recognized, discovered.
~ A. R. Ammons, A Poem is a Walk
It was not the fastest 5k in the world, but it was a beautiful one. I stayed close to home, making my way around the pond a few times, and taking little detours into the woods once in a while.
Thank you for visiting the Bogs, and joining me on another walk around Breezy Acres. Did you do the 5k today? If so, how’d it go for you?