Friday, November 24, 2006

Get out of the car

Last Monday, I stepped off the porch steps and onto the sidewalk to chill with my cat in the morning sunlight. Immediately enthralled by the touch of the early breezes, I inhaled the possibility of doing something so unlikely as this: running errands by walking. I needed to go downtown for a coupla different things, and I prefer to bunch up my chores so I only have to run the car in one general direction and accomplish multi-things at a time. What's that permaculture aphorism? Protracted thought leads to minimized labor and energy waste. (Actually, since I took the time to look it up, it's this: "...protracted and thoughtful observation rather than protracted and thoughtless labor...")

So, anyway, I had a handful of things to accomplish downtown and had about five hours to get 'em done. Why not walk today, I asked myself.

I started out from my hood (Fairmount neighborhood) and headed north, arriving downtown (City Hall) in about 45 minutes. The temperature was perfect and the only discomfort I felt was some slight pain in my lower back and right foot (broken toe). Overall, I was buoyant. I felt like walking the distance it would have taken me 8 minutes to drive and accomplishing the chores in 2 hours rather than 30 minutes did not deplete me or compromise my schedule. With a conscious choice, I opted to slow down my day--and yes, I didn't get as much done as on a typical day--and gained so much the improved attitude and overall depth charge that I had long needed.

It's gorgeous today, give it a go. Give your feet the green light. Let the car rest for a minute.

I'm heading out now to cruise the neighborhood with my friend Carol. Feet a-walking, mouths a-talking.

In case you need information to get inspiration....


Anonymous said...

funny -- i've been doing this lately, too

in fact, my dtr has had the car for a coupla wks now

only non-snazz aspect: she forgot i needed to go to haltom city to rehearse the other night, so i wound up having to bum a ride from a bandmate

point being, i suppose, that most things are workable through

sunlit doorway said...

lucky daughter with walking dad.

non-snazz: nice word.

bumming rides: i have never owned a
car when living in austin (3 stints for
total of about 9 years), relying mostly
on feet, Capitol Metro, the free Dillo
trolley buses, and the UT shuttle system.

many times, though, i was prevented from
walking cuz friends driving past would yell
out an offer of a ride. small-town feature.

lastly---i identified a guy walking down
Lancaster towards the museum district
as a tourist from Tokyo. offered him a
ride as i was driving that way anyhow. it
completely floored him that i bothered.
architect from Tokyo, urbane and gracious.

**Thanks for visiting xxcommunicator!!**

ShoeGirl said...

We definitely don't walk enough in America! This is so common in Europe. I would love to live in a city/town where I could walk more. That's something I loved about NYC.

sunlit doorway said...

I live in a cool neighborhood with a "pedestrian culture", as its called. Because a nearby avenue is dotted with popular ethnic eateries, lots of folks in the hood just walk to them. It's also a mixture of working poor people (who may not have cars or who use bikes) and young artist rebels (who skateboard and ride mutant bikes like those tall bikes you see occasionally) and health-conscious gentrificators (yuppies with expensive running shoes). All in all, I love the totality of these "types" cuz it means we're mixing it up and getting around without cars.

Oh, i was in NYC a few wks. ago. Lots of walking, yep.