I am reading Thoreau’s book on walking.
And so I ponder, what beholds this art even as this master critic writes about his enterprises in walking. I have, of late, with significant efforts, graduated to a “morning person” – that tantric ritual which urges the senses and the mind to come together at once. As the alarm clock receives the premeditated instruction of waking me up, I rise from a slumber – each a varying kind.
It takes me around seven minutes to dress into a decent attire, pull my hair together into a knot, leaving the frizzy ends to thrive in their mutiny. After dousing my face in the cold morning water, I set off, to witness the early morning. Each day, to my left, there is the morning aglow with the appearing sun. The sky is luminescent with a blush that searches for those few walkers who walk without any purpose other than for the art itself.
Only, there are few of that kind.
The morning walks, these days or even from before, have been loaded with expectations. I am one of those culprits, walking with the intention to allow my body the minimal physical exercise that it could otherwise get. My work keeps me occupied until late evening by which walking becomes a bore, a work. But, there are mornings, when I am stunned away by a swift breeze that pursues my interest into everything that is open at this glorious moment.
The flowers of the Indian lilacs cover the minimal sideways, which is made for the humans to walk upon. Then there are the pigeons in full flight covering the expanse of the sky, making noises which excite the senses. On some mornings, you can hear water flowing in the public park. It snakes its way through the narrow gutters beginning at an origin of human choice. Days later, grass would rise – green and lush.
At times, I sit on the grass. From that humbled position, it is easier to see what to the naked eye will not be visible otherwise. With a clear vision, you will soon spot ladybugs – bloody red with black spots lined in cosmic order. Then, other bugs will soon become visible – ants, mosquitoes, flies, are some of them. Each blade of grass is highlighted when seen that way. And, soon you will realize, that it is not only grass that grows there. There are many more plants that you will not be able to name but can only classify as under weeds.
I meditate sitting on the grass. Just a decent focus on the in-breath and the out-breath. Moments, in which blessings open forth, you will see how the earth breathes too. You inhale what the trees and bushes exhale. The trees and bushes inhale what you exhale. So, the ground that you have been walking upon or sitting on becomes lesser in conceptual clarity and becomes a reminder of that which your own body is composed of.
On other days, when I am caught up in the grief of the mind, everything seems closed. There is no inflow because there is no outflow. These kinds of walks induce the desire to continue the search – forgetting that everything is here, now.
Thoreau would know what I mean. He has written already what I attempt to write, elaborate and better. So, I should stop now and leave the masters to speak of what I could only experience.