Slow walking a 5k on a spectacular Sunday

A spectator watching my 5k.

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.

Today's glimpse of the pond from the shorn meadows. The beginning of my slow 5k.

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

Another spectator, cheering me on. (American Goldfinch)

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.

"Namaste," said the Bluebird.

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

A ball of sunlight captured by the dogwood tree

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?

View from my finish line.


46 Comments on “Slow walking a 5k on a spectacular Sunday”

  1. I didn’t get to do the 5k! But so happy to join you of yours today:)

  2. Sara Rosso says:

    It’s not about the time, it’s about the finish! 🙂 Congrats on participating 🙂

  3. CMSmith says:

    I did not, although I know I probably shoulfpd have. I don’t know that I realized the birds begin to sing while it’s still dark. I’ll have to pay more attention. I really, really, really want to see a bluebird. Great shots.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks, Christine. 🙂

      I used to walk very early in the morning, before the sun came up, and one of my favorite parts of the walk was listening to the birds as they start their morning songs.

  4. mobius faith says:

    What a great use of time. It’s not about the speed. It’s about the what you do with it. And you did well. Nice shots.

  5. Such a beautiful day…we have no bluebirds on the island (that I know of) and I always love your photos of them.
    The wind was brutal yet again today…I hope the calm at your place reaches us tomorrow!

    • Robin says:

      It was a gorgeous day, Marie. I’m betting you have other interesting birds on the island, birds we don’t see around here. 🙂

  6. aFrankAngle says:

    A beautiful day it was .. but what a bummer, I didn’t know about the 5K walk. Dang – we did our normal 2 miles, so adding another leg wouldn’t have been a problem. I may have to go out after dinner for the last leg. 🙂 Oh …. great shots. 🙂

  7. bearyweather says:

    Your bluebird is so bright and cheery. I did not know about the 5K … it has been a very gray and cloudy day, I envy your sunshine.

    • Robin says:

      Bluebirds are such pretty little birds, Bearyweather. I was surprised to find I’d captured a bluebird in that first shot. Because of the sunlight, I couldn’t tell what kind of bird it was and thought it was a robin (because that’s where the robins generally hang out).

      Hope you get some sunshine soon.

  8. Gosh, Robin, love the image of the tree relected in the pond. How gorgeous. Hope you are having a lovely Sunday, my friend.

  9. Looks like a lovely walk, Robin!! I like the slow meander… and it looks gorgeous in the spring. I’m glad I got to linger along on your walk!

  10. you had a great walk and thanks so much for sharing it with us!!

  11. Gracie says:

    Awesome photos, Robin. Love the photos of the birds, hope to see more here too.

  12. […] Slow walking a 5k on a spectacular Sunday ( […]

  13. Sallyann says:

    I think “amazingly beautiful” is just perfect. 🙂

  14. eof737 says:

    Excellent job Robin and congrats for taking the leap. I love the new template for your blog too. 😉

  15. Gilraen says:

    I just can’t decide which picture I love the best. I can totally see that with such splendour a 5k walk is taking some time. Wow!

    • Robin says:

      Thank you, Gilraen. 🙂

      I get my cardio in on the elliptical or treadmill so that I can afford to take my time when I walk outside.

  16. TBM says:

    It would have taken me hours to enjoy all this! Great shots!

  17. ladyfi says:

    Wow – everything is so lush and gorgeous! Stunning shots – love that first one.

  18. Enjoyed the walk, Robin. Delightful writing, photos, and quotes! An uplifting post for sure!

  19. milkayphoto says:

    Techinally, I didn’t do a 5K today (Sunday is my day of rest) but I did achieve a personal best this week of 40 miles of cardio on my elliptical. Woo hoo! 🙂 I imagine your walk was prettier but my achievement makes my butt prettier!! lol! 😉

    • Robin says:

      Sunday is my day of rest typically too, Tracy. Well, not rest exactly. It’s my day to hike or bike and not worry about whether or not I got my heart rate up or burned enough calories. I do most of my cardio on the elliptical or treadmill so that I can afford those leisurely slow walks outside. Plus we have this hill that does a good job of making butts look prettier. 🙂

      • milkayphoto says:

        Oh, I don’t doubt it, Robin! YOU are perhaps THE most active person I know of! Somedays, I feel I’ve gotten a workout just READING about your adventures! 🙂

  20. Marianne says:

    Your spectators are cute and colourful. I’ve never seen a bluebird. We have blue jays, but I don’t know where the bluebirds are. It’s nice to see the ones that visit you, Robin.

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