Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Walking: it's ace

Walking is something many able-bodied people take for granted. Indeed, it only occurred to me recently after a comment from a friend how much walking enriches my quality of life: so much of what I write about and photograph I see while I'm on foot. 

Gillian (hello!) commented in response to one of my posts on this blog (or was it Girl in Melbourne?) that there was very little that escaped my gaze. I replied that writing Gleeful and having a photo blog have trained me to take notice, particularly of small things. Then she said she missed so much because she was always whizzing by in her car.

Of course! I hadn't given that a lot of thought, but it's so obvious. I've never owned a car and I've always been a walker, especially in the last six years living on the fringe of the CBD. I walk to and from work most days, I'm often out and about doing stuff on weekends and wandering the Botanic Gardens, the city or the inner suburbs with camera in hand.

If I lived in the suburbs and commuted to work, my blogs would be vastly different.  I suppose it's a combination of walking a lot and being fortunate to live in such a picturesque part of the Melbourne.
If I didn't walk so much in my little part of the world,  I wouldn't see all those birdie couples nearly every day (the plovers, the swans, the ducks) or the flying foxes at dusk. I wouldn't be able to closely observe the elms beside the river transitioning from season to season, to smell the musty aroma of wet autumn leaves on the ground.  I wouldn't be able to admire the reflection of the city lights on the Yarra every day or take in the view of the CBD from my various favourite vantage points. I wouldn't have seen dolphins or jellyfish or fish in the river. 

I wouldn't have so many photos of old painted signs around the inner suburbs of Melbourne. I probably wouldn't even have developed an interest in them at all. I wouldn't know Melbourne -  its laneways, hidden charms and beautiful buildings - as well as I do if I experienced it mainly by car or public transport, and only came to the city for work. Feet were made for exploring; cars were made for getting places quickly.

Walking has deepened my connection with my town, and helped me feel closer to nature despite living less than two kilometres from the centre of the city. It allows me to slow down, to stop and take things in.  Walking...it's awesome.

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