This ancient Latin phrase loosely translates as “It is solved by walking.” A walk is a journey that requires very little — neither planning nor passport, neither ticket nor equipment. Nearly always at our disposal, a walk provides so much more than just a change of scenery. Walking has helped me decide what is wise and what is foolhardy, has made me fall in love with a place, has batted away my melancholy. Walking has helped me loosen the grip technology has on my life, giving me space and permission to disconnect from my devices that beg for my attention and feed my anxiety. Most of all, walking has nurtured my creativity as I struggle to give tangible form to abstract ideas.
~ Bonnie Smith Whitehouse, in the introduction to Afoot and Lighthearted: A Journal for Mindful Walking
What year is it in your imagination?
~ Lynda Barry
I looked over at my neighbor, the song sparrow, and thought about how just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have known its name, might not have even known it was a sparrow, might not have even seen it at all. How lonely that world seemed in comparison to this one! But the sparrow and I were no longer strangers. It was no stretch of the imagination, nor even of science, to think that we were related. We were both from the same place (Earth), made of the same stuff. And most important, we were both alive.
~ Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing
Anytime loon shows up as a totem, it is calling to you to pay attention to your dreams. It indicates that they will be of greater importance, along with becoming more vibrant and colorful. The haunting call of the loon may also be telling you that all those hopes, wishes, and dreams that you have tucked to the back of the heart are about to come to the surface. The loon may be signalling you not to compromise them again, or you may truly find yourself haunted.
The loon will teach new states of consciousness. It will also help you to deepen those you have already awakened. Because it lives close to the water — at the shore line — it can teach you to use these various states of consciousness to open to new dimensions and other life forms…
… To most people, the call of the loon is its most distinguishing feature. It is haunting and touches the soul in a primal way. The loon is actually very talkative, and it has a whole repertory of calls — each different in sound and meaning. One of its calls is similar to the sound of a wolf howl. One is like a trilling laugh. It will often use the call to distract predators away from the nest. To many outdoors people, the loon call is the true call of the wild. It stirs the primal embers within all who hear it — no matter how long those embers have lain cool. It is as if the sound is calling forth all that we have ignored or shoved to the back of the closet in our minds.
~ Ted Andrews, Animal Speak
You wake up on a winter morning and pull up the shade, and what lay there the evening before is no longer there – the sodden gray yard, the dog droppings, the tire tracks in the frozen mud, the broken lawn chair you forgot to take in last fall. All this has disappeared overnight, and what you look out on is not the snow of Narnia but the snow of home, which is no less shimmering and white as it falls. The earth is covered with it, and it is falling still in silence so deep that you can hear its silence. It is snow to be shoveled, to make driving even worse than usual, snow to be joked about and cursed at, but unless the child in you is entirely dead, it is snow, too, that can make the heart beat faster when it catches you by surprise that way, before your defenses are up. It is snow that can awaken memories of things more wonderful than anything you ever knew or dreamed.
~ Frederick Buechner
The soul becomes dyed with the colour of its thoughts.
~ Marcus Aurelius, Meditations