I have been walking most of my life. I believe I was about 10 months old when I took my first step but it has been only in recent years that my wife and I have taken up walking as a pastime – hiking.
Over the last week and a half we have been doing a lot of day walks and one overnight stay. We clocked up quite a few kilometres. Apart from the obvious physical benefits there are many others as well.
Personally, the most amazing revelation is the beauty of creation from the smallest flower to the largest tree and from a ferned gully to a majestic mountains and cliffs. One’s heart cannot fail to declare, “O Lord our Lord how majestic is your name in all the earth.” That is reinforced when out in the blackness of the bush at night away from city light pollution; the numbers of stars in the sky is breathtaking.
As a couple another benefit is time together. We don’t talk the whole time but we can simply enjoy each other’s company away from the hurly burly of life. In some places we walked we wouldn’t see other people for many hours. We had to like each other because there was no one else. We can sometimes become so busy we fail to acknowledge the importance of those around us. Walking is an antidote to that condition.
But there is also time time to reflect within yourself. It is a good time for a personal audit of your priorities, relationships, faith, work and life in general. One can stop, breath and be reminded why God has placed us on the earth in the first place.
My knees and ankles are, for the moment, thanking me that I have stopped. The problem with taking up serious walking later in life is that body is in a state of shock – for days.
Nice reflection, Pieter. I’m looking forward to later in the year when Lin and I can get to do something simiiar. 42 years married this week! I still think she’s brilliant.