Ever since I moved with my husband to the Lake Ballinger neighborhood nearly 30 years ago, the scenic road that winds along the Edmonds side of the lake has played a key role in my life’s story. Married without children, I often walked the route with our two cocker spaniels. After my son was born, I pushed his stroller while holding dog leashes. After my daughter was born, our family was back to one cocker spaniel, and I walked the dog and the new baby while my son accompanied on his bicycle — with training wheels.
When the kids were older, I chaperoned as they walked the neighborhood trick-or-treating. I walked them to the school bus, then took our new Yellow Lab puppy for his walk. As the Lab grew, our walks grew longer and farther. Soon we were without kids as they began walking — and then driving — with their friends.
Our Yellow Lab died a couple of years ago, and I got out of the habit of walking. I work out regularly at a health club, so it wasn’t like I wasn’t getting exercise. But about a month ago, I started walking the neighborhood regularly again. Early in the morning. After coffee but before breakfast. And it’s been glorious.
For me, there’s something very spiritual about taking a walk. And I’m not talking about spiritual in the go-to-church sense. Walking grounds me — literally. I leave my cell phone at home. I don’t wear headphones or listen to music. I breathe deeply. I listen to birds. I don’t really think — I just am.
When you are as plugged in to technology as someone who runs three community news websites, leaving it behind for 20 minutes seems like the ultimate luxury. But the truth is, many of us don’t unplug enough. We run from one meeting or crisis or commitment to the next, all the while texting and Facebooking and Instagraming, And by the end of the day, we have nothing left for ourselves.
Take a few minutes to just be. The results might surprise you.
And when you decide to plug back in (you knew this was coming, right?), take a moment to subscribe to My Edmonds News. Your voluntary monthly or one-time contribution of any amount helps us pay for writers, photographers, web developers, graphic designers, sales people, web hosting and much more. I’m absolutely floored by the level of support we have received since I began asking regularly. But I also know there are many readers out there who think about it, and then forget. Because they are running from one meeting or crisis or commitment to the next.
Until next time.
Teresa Wippel, Publisher