On Creating Space

Rocky Face Mountain Recreation Area
Hiddenite, NC

What do you do to unplug?
How do you stay connected with yourself and your Creator?

One of the greatest, simple pleasures of my life is walking.

If I am not walking, then I am not writing, because I have not completed my thought process.

And even though I enjoy getting out into the wild, for me, creating breathing room is much more about finding inside space than outside space. I walk until I am still. I walk until I can rest. I walk until I find myself in His presence. I am at home in wood or neighborhood and am often found walking in either place.

My hope is to whet your appetite with some personal photos accompanied by some of my favorite excerpts from Thoreau’s Walking. Make the time – create the room – to work on your inside space and find rest in God’s presence.

Unplug from the gadgets and busyness and reconnect with Life.

Suspension Bridge Anne Springs Close Greenway, Charlotte, NC
Suspension bridge near Nations Ford Road.
Anne Springs Close Greenway, Charlotte, NC

I have met with but one or two persons in the course of my life who understood the art of Walking, that is, of taking walks, who had a genius, so to speak, for sauntering; which word is beautifully derived “from idle people who roved about the country, in the middle ages, and asked charity, under pretence of going à la sainte terre” — to the holy land, till the children exclaimed, “There goes a sainte-terrer”, a saunterer — a holy-lander. They who never go to the holy land in their walks, as they pretend, are indeed mere idlers and vagabonds, but they who do go there are saunterers in the good sense, such as I mean. Some, however, would derive the word from sans terre, without land or a home, which, therefore, in the good sense, will mean, having no particular home, but equally at home everywhere. For this is the secret of successful sauntering. He who sits still in a house all the time may be the greatest vagrant of all, but the Saunterer, in the good sense, is no more vagrant than the meandering river, which is all the while sedulously seeking the shortest course to the sea. But I prefer the first, which indeed is the most probable derivation. For every walk is a sort of crusade, preached by some Peter the Hermit in us, to go forth and reconquer this holy land from the hands of the Infidels.

Thoreau Walking Part 1 [2]

Hiking the Rock Top Trail. Not for the faint of heart! Crowder's Mountain State Park
Hiking the Rock Top Trail. Not for the faint of heart!
Crowder’s Mountain State Park

There are some intervals which border the strain of the wood-thrush, to which I would migrate — wild lands where no settler has squatted; to which, methinks, I am already acclimated.

Walking Part 2 [20]

With my hiking buddy at the Pinnacle Summit Crowder's Mountain State Park
With my hiking buddy, my daughter Ashley, at the Pinnacle Summit.
Crowder’s Mountain State Park

At times, as we hike, my daughter and I talk about life and work and she helps me think through my ideas. Other times we just walk. I love sharing this part of my life with her and hanging out. Just being with her blesses me.

Sometimes, I walk alone with my Father and we talk about life and work and He helps me think through my ideas. I know He likes to just hang out, too, and that blesses me.

Rocky Face Mountain Area with my hiking buddy. Hiddenite, NC
Rocky Face Mountain Area with my hiking buddy.
Hiddenite, NC

I do not know where to find in any literature, ancient or modern, any account which contents me, of that Nature with which even I am acquainted. You will perceive that I demand something which no Augustan nor Elizabethan age — which no culture, in short, can give. Mythology comes nearer to it than anything.

Mythology is the crop which the old world bore before its soil was exhausted, before the fancy and imagination were affected with blight; — and which it still bears wherever its pristine vigor is unabated. All other literatures endure only as the elms which overshadow our houses, but this is like the great Dragon tree of the Western isles, as old as mankind, and whether that does or not, will endure as long; for the decay of other literatures makes the soil in which it thrives.

Thoreau Walking Part 2 [35]

The final leg of Browns Mountain Trail King's Mountain National Military Park
The final leg of Browns Mountain Trail.
King’s Mountain National Military Park
On the ridge line trail that runs from Crowder's Mountain to King's Mountain
On the Ridgeline Trail that runs from Crowder’s Mountain to King’s Mountain

So we saunter toward the Holy Land; till one day the sun shall shine more brightly than ever he has done, shall perchance shine into our minds and hearts, and light up our whole lives with a great awakening light, so warm and serene and golden as on a bank-side in Autumn.

Thoreau Walking Part 3 [26]

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2 thoughts on “On Creating Space

  1. I just finished reading your wonderful
    thoughts on walking,and although I don’t walk long distances like yourself, my short walk to work each day revives my spirit as well!

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