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In defense of walking

Green Lake Park, Seattle. Image courtesy Wikipedia.

We took a walk around the neighborhood this morning. A short one — just me, Drea, and Jo in the stroller. But it made me realize that walks are something I’d like to do more often. Maybe you could chalk it up to a car-dependent culture, but I find a certain appeal in choosing¬†a mode of transport that takes a little longer.

Besides the obvious health and environmental advantages to walking, it also forces you to enjoy your surroundings. I don’t notice the sounds of bugs and birds, or appreciate the natural shade of a tree when I’m driving. Walking reminds me that the world is a place to be enjoyed.

Why don’t Drea and I walk more often? We’ve taken similar walks down the street before (including one when Drea was full term and trying to literally walk herself into labor) but our neighborhood isn’t exactly “walkable”.¬†There are plenty of sidewalks, but without any stores or restaurants within walking distance, there’s nowhere really to go. This is something I’d like to pay attention to when we purchase our next place.

We’re headed to the Pacific Northwest next week for vacation, my plans for which include a great deal of loafing around city parks. One I’m especially looking forward to exploring is Green Lake (pictured above), where the City of Seattle has recently refurbished a walking trail around the lake. I just love that — public funds allocated for public enjoyment of the outdoors. Maybe those tree-hugging hipsters are on to something.

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