Sunday Gratitude – Walking

As any of you who know the Owl personally know, my favorite time of the day is trail time. Every morning that I am in Weston, I am on a trail. In some sense, it’s my job – my volunteer role for Weston Forest & Trail Association is all about stewardship of the trails–checking easements, trees down, trail issues. It’s also my escape, my therapy, and my favorite time of the day. I am out all year long– in freezing January, snowy February, muddy spring, buggy July, before and after nor-easters and the best season–right now, autumn in all its golden crunchy-leaved glory. My favorite walking companion is Katie Puppy, five-year-old rescue dog. No, I don’t worry about coyotes, bobcats or ticks. The gratitude I feel for our Conservation spaces in Weston is unbounded.

What I have more recently come to appreciate are walks with friends, both old and new. And acquaintances. And with a teenage owlet. And a most-every-evening stroll with my husband in Silver Hill’s delightful neighborhood. Where once we would meet in restaurants, homes or museums, now the joy is being together, walking, thinking, laughing, and occasionally disagreeing–which is made easier by not being face-to-face, but rather side by side. It doesn’t really matter where we walk–trails, or sidewalks, or on the quiet dead-end roads around town. “Let’s go for a walk,” is pretty much my favorite invitation to receive.

This week my gratitude is for a walk with a college friend who I usually visit every year in Bar Harbor but didn’t make it this year–so she came here and we talked and laughed while walking the long sidewalk on Trapelo Road in Lincoln. She always told the best stories of life as a Bar Harbor native when as college kids we met over bagels and bad coffee at the Beebe dining hall. The stories are different now, but just as funny.

And grateful as well for another walk with the mom of one of the Owlet’s best friends around the northside streets and rail trail. We talked about the challenges of high school students and teenager angst and then we laughed over shared memories of teachers and events and situations. It’s always good to know that you are not the only one facing an issue about teenagers. Last week, a walk with another mom whose kid now goes to private school brought the same realization, and similar joy.

Earlier this year, I walked and talked around the Middle School campus with our award-winning Middle School Principal, John Gibbons. And got to know him more as a person than a zoom would ever cover. And later in the spring, the Police Chief and I took a walk in Jericho Woods, and talked about what was going on, and not going on, in our small town. I meet our former conservation administrator and now friend just about every other week in Lincoln or Weston to mull over conservation dilemmas, and how to cook hen-of-the-woods. And a neighbor bestie with whom I walk a couple times a week and we watch our dogs tumble and play with each other while we talk about what our plans are, what our kids are doing, and anything under the sun. This gratitude goes on and on…

There’s no better place for a walk than Weston. Get outside…and invite someone to join you…on the trails or sidewalks or streets. You’ll be grateful too.

The titans of walking…and my favorite trail sign ever

“We are all travelers in the wilderness of the world and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.” – Robert Louis Stevenson


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