Walking is one of -- and probably the most important -- of my daily practices. It's a quiet and often overlooked practice that doesn't need any fancy equipment beyond a comfortable pair of shoes.
There is something about the rhythm that is cerebellar, that gets me out of my mind and into my body and the surrounding world. I can feel wind, sun, rain, or snow on my face. I can hear what birds have returned. I can smell water on rock. I can hear, as poet Robert Bringhurst puts it, the thinking of things.
I usually leave right after the school bus whisks the children away. Often getting them out the door leaves me feeling fairly fractured and anxious, which leads me to circling through my usual mental loops over how the day will go, what I will fail to do, what disaster will occur, etc.
But give me ten minutes on the lakeside path I frequent, and I'm already feeling less fraught. Like most things that make us a bit easier, it's not magic, but it sure is a simple medicine.