Thursday, May 10, 2018

Long Morning Walks






I enjoy walking in the early morning.  From 1998 to 2017 I walked on a country lane, Kilkenny Lane, directly in front of my home in Red Bluff, California.  This cul de sac lane is .32 miles from Highway 99W.  
Occasionally, a car might use this country lane, and I move to the side of the road.  It is a very safe, peaceful, and quiet place with lovely landscaping and dramatic views.

The photos show here were taken in November after a series of gentle rain storms.  

I try to walk every day from two to four miles in the morning; when I was not working for the Corning Union Elementary School District.  I walked on this road from June of 1998 until we moved to Vancouver, Washington, in April of 2017; nearly 19 years.  


"Putting facts by the thousands,
into the world, the toes take off
with an appealing squeak which the thumping heel
follows confidentially, the way men greet men.
Sometimes walking is just such elated
pumping."
-   Lyn Hejinian, Determination



"Every day, in the morning or evening, or both, take a walk in a safe and peaceful environment for less than an hour.  The can be a great fountain of youth.  Choose a place to walk that has no kind of disturbance.   Walking done in a work environment and when your mind is busy is different; it is not as nutritious as the walking you do for yourself in the morning or evening in a quiet, peaceful, and safe place."
-  Master Hua-Ching Ni, Entering the Tao, 1997, p. 135






Looking to the northeast on Kilkenny Lane.  Mt. Lassen (10,000 feet) in the distance is capped with a little snow.  These photos were taken in late Autumn.    


"Walking is the natural recreation for a man who desires not absolutely to suppress his intellect but to turn it out to play for a season."
- Leslie Stephen

"Our philosophies must be rewritten to remove them from the domain of words and "ideas," and to plant their roots firmly in the earth."
- William Vogt

"If you look for the truth outside yourself,
It gets farther and farther away.
Today walking alone, I meet it everywhere I step.
It is the same as me, yet I am not it.
Only if you understand it in this way
Will you merge with the way things are."
- Tung-Shan




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Looking west on Kilkenny Lane.  The red leafed autumn colors are from Raywood Ash trees. The Yolly Bolly mountain range (7,000 feet) is to the west of the North Sacramento Valley.


"The interior solitude, along with the steady rhythm of walking mile after mile, served as a catalyst for deeper awareness.  The solitude I found and savored on the Camino had an amazing effect on me.  The busyness of my life slowly settled down as the miles went on.  For a good portion of my life I had longed for a fuller experience of contemplation, that peaceful prayer of the heart in which one is able to look intently and see each piece of life as sacred.  Ten days into the journey, totally unforeseen, the grace of seeing the world with startling lucidity came to me.  My eyes took in everything with wonder.  The experience was like looking through the lens of an inner camera – my heart was the photographer.  Colors and shapes took on nuances and depths never before noticed.  Each piece of beauty appeared to be framed: weeds along roadsides, hillsides of harvested fields with yellow and green stripes, layers of mountains with lines of thick mist stretching along their middle section, clumps of ripe grapes on healthy green vines, red berries on bushes, roses and vegetable gardens.  Everything revealed itself as something marvelous to behold.  Each was a work of art.  I noticed more and more details of light and shadow, lines and edges, shapes, softness, and texture.  I easily observed missed details on the path before me – skinny worms, worn pebbles, tiny flowers of various colors and shapes, black beetles, snails, and fat, grey slugs.  I became aware of the texture of everything under my feet – stones, slate, gravel, cement, dirt, sand, grass.  I responded with wonder and amazement.  Like the poet Tagore, I felt that everything “harsh and dissonant in my life” was melting into “one sweet harmony”."
-  Joyce Rupp  


In Vancouver, Washington, where I live now in 2018, I walk on my suburban neighborhood streets and at local parks.  In the photo below, my dog, Bruno, and I are walking at the nearby Orchards Community Park.  




"As I went walking
That ribbon of highway
I saw above me
The endless skyway
I saw below me
The lonesome valley
This land was made for you and me."
- Woody Guthrie, This Land is Your Land


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