Monday, July 25, 2011


Walking, I am continuously discovering, is unbelievably therapeutic. I know this is not new news for many people. I have a friend in Indiana who manages to walk all winter. In the snow and ice. With the kids in tow. I have always been in awe of that, mainly because the effort to get myself from couch to sidewalk with preschoolers in negative degree weather not only seemed insurmountable but slightly heroic. But now that we live in the City of Trails, with scenery that can drag me out of just about any chair, I am learning how wise she is.

We have been out on afternoons and evenings, winter and summer. We walk by the lake and up in the hills and downtown. And I will admit, I am thoroughly converted. There is something about sun and clouds and air and dirt that always manages to clear up and expand my vision. To calm me down. I breathe deeper, my fingers start to tingle. What is it about motion that gets the insides churning? Even my maternal-memory-loss seems to abate slightly while I'm looking down the trail at my string of sassy little blond kids. I bet I could even come up with all of their names and respective birthdays right off the top of my head in such a setting.

The five year-old likes to talk about our Hiking Family, as in "We haven't been on a hike since saturday, and we're a hiking family!" Or "You seem a little grumpy mom. so this hiking family should go on a hike." Sometimes I'm busy or tired and I resist. But she's always wins out in the end.

And in the end, she's always right.

A Hiking Family it is.

Amen, little girl.


  1. Hey, are you talking about me in the first part of the post? Or is there somebody else who has to walk pretty much daily or else will go crazy?
    In any case, I think it is great that you guys are a Hiking Family. It fits you, especially with all the beautiful places to discover.

  2. What a lovely essay. I love that being active as a family has grown into a defining familial trait in your kids' minds.

    I've always wanted to be a Biking Family. We've taken a hiatus this past year. But with our upcoming move to a flatter landscape, we'll hopefully be able to pick up where we left off.

  3. indeed it is you. I used to watch out the window and think "I really should be out on a walk" and then head right back to the couch. sad sad, but true.

    walking family, hiking family, biking family. anything on the move (that doesn't require a car) sounds great to me. right about now I'd really like to be a horse family. how cool to go around town in a wagon or bareback? ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.