And through the wandering paths I trod
My feeble knees do awake;
The cares of life, they seem to fade
As dawn begins to break.
For soft and low the Voice begins,
My marching orders I hear…
Of things to make, and of peace and grace;
A Joy for the day has drawn near.
More often than not, my walks are magical. Not because of anything extraordinary that I’m doing…just walking…maybe breaking into a little jog here and there. But wheels start turning, creative pistons firing and all I have to do is go along for the ride. It also feels something like, as I walk, there’s a sloughing off of whatever besets me: worries, cares, fears, stresses, etc. Some may even wonder if I have an ipod or phone, ’cause I talk while I walk. No ipod though. I don’t want any music impeding what I might receive that day. “Receive” is really what’s happening. Many times I don’t feel like I should take any credit for some of the creative things I make, write, or do…because, they are truly gifts, and I’ve just “caught” them and passed them along. And so I pass along this little jingle, reworking a favorite Christmas tune. It arrived on my morning walk.
Julia Cameron writes of this very phenomenon in her book, Walking in this World. She also speaks of other creative-brain activities like, baking, mending, sorting, rearranging, tossing stuff out, etc. I love how grounded these activities are…so normal, so everyday, so hum-drum. No bravado, no loftiness here, just plain ole everyday stuff. But WOW, what little gems we receive while doing them.
Now, you may say, “surely you didn’t just “receive” the ability to draw or knit while you were out on a walk one day?” Of course not. I pursued those skills and am constantly learning more about them. Anyone can learn these skills! Anyone can, if they want to, learn to draw, paint, knit, crochet, play an instrument, throw pottery, make jewelry, etc. Learning a skill is NOT a magical thing that “happens” to you on a daily walk. But ideas are. Thoughts, connections between life and art, words, ideas and possiblities can all come to us, if we listen for it. I’ve often thought that the phrase “visions of sugarplums danced in their heads” is exactly what goes on inside my head…especially on a walk.