A Walk Can Change Everything

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.

-Wallace Stevens

I began my pilgrimage in Rome arriving late at night after my flight was delayed by several hours and I was bumped to a later connection.  The first day of the World Congress of Benedictine Oblates was very full.  I remember feeling filled with anticipation and also drained from the long travel.  The Congress was held at a conference center on the outskirts of Rome, a beautiful setting.   That first evening I took a long slow walk around the perimeter of the property.  The evening light was illuminating the world around me and with each step I could feel my body more grounded and present.  With that walk I felt my whole perspective shifting and opening.   I walked for hours and hours during this time away and truth ripened in me with each step.

As I return to Seattle, I again am experiencing the drain of jet lag.  With the marvel and speed of modern air travel I wonder if our bodies can be transported faster than our souls can keep up with.  Again I walk so that I can become more present to this place I find myself in.  It is home, but I see with a new vision, and walking helps me to expand my imagination.  Again, with each step I feel myself arrive, I welcome in the radiance of autumn leaves tumbling to the earth beneath my feet. 

Walking is one of my primary spiritual practices.  For me, it is a way of honoring the seasons of the earth and my spirit.  With each walk I listen for the invitation of the world around me.  Walking is a way of arriving fully to this place, it helps me to arrive to this moment in time and discover the gifts hidden both within and without.  When I find myself feeling stuck for ideas and inspiration or feeling like my perspective has narrowed from fatigue, a walk can change absolutely everything.

(Photo taken on the property of the Salesianum in Rome)

** On Monday, November 2nd the  Abbey Poetry Parties return so please come back for some poetic inspiration and community! **

© Christine Valters Paintner at Abbey of the Arts:
Transformative Living through Contemplative & Expressive Arts

Become a fan of the Abbey on Facebook, follow this blog on Facebook, friend me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter

You might also enjoy