The last couple of weeks have been a bit tough one way and another but this morning I started the day with a stomp through the park with my dog. Relishing the simple freedom of embracing the elements, and ignoring the little, nagging voice that told me I had a million other more important chores to do I meandered higgledy piggledy across the park, abandoning myself to my impossible sense of direction, happy to have no particular place to be and no particular time to arrive. I just enjoyed stomping for stomping’s sake. And I started to ponder how walking purposely but being purposeless can be such a literal and a physical breath of fresh air. It turned out the more I wandered, the more I wondered and the farther I went, the better I felt, as if I was stomping my worries out along the way. The thing about walking is that it slows you down- there is only so fast you can go on your own two feet as opposed to by bus, car or train. And so you have time to ‘look’ more and appreciate what you see. You notice how good it makes you feel when the path you haphazardly take is pebbledashed with nuggets of sunshine enticing you forwards or you spy early buds nestled along the branches of a magnolia tree. It’s as if Mother Nature is letting you in on her secrets because you are bothering to take time to discover.
And then I thought, that given how many people walk in this same park, the likelihood of someone treading the very same path that I was taking, at some time or other, was inevitable. Which led me to considering what they might have been thinking as they strode these same steps. How we all must walk in other people’s footsteps all day long and what the world would look like if we left imprints of our thoughts behind in those footsteps as we went. Imagine how all those thoughts would pile up, bending the ground under their weight - a physical mind map, criss-crossing the world as our life paths overlap and intersect each other.
Sometimes stomping through
The morning dew
That rises up like backwards rain,
Reaching for the skies again,
Watching how the grass blades bow
And bend for now
Beneath your feet
In mock defeat,
Can start your day
A different way
Than if you stayed
At home afraid
Of what might be or what might not.
Sometimes stomping helps a lot.
And what is more, if you could see
An imprint of your mind would be
Left where others walked before
And all their thoughts and even more
Would all be piled so high
They’d build a tower to the sky
Of lives that cross and overlap
Ploughing on or racing back.
For wherever you have been
This wise world has watched and seen
Others who already strode
And left their footsteps on the road;
Worries joy, pain the lot
But somehow stomping helps a lot