The miracle is not to fly in the air, or to walk on the water, but to walk on the earth. ~ Chinese Proverb
Joyce Rupp has frequently guided my friends and me with inspiring writings over the years. May I Have This Dance, the first of her many spiritual books we encountered, took us through each month of the year with 3-6 page invitations to reflect via essays, visual images, and poetry. Since then we have often made use of her blessings, poems, and call-and-response prayers in talks or workshops and in our annual group retreats at Advent and Easter. A resident of Des Moines Iowa, she is a member of the Servites (Servants of Mary) community and a volunteer for Hospice. As my husband and I prepared to spend two weeks in Santiago, Spain in 2010, Joyce Rupp’s book Walking in a Relaxed Manner raised wonderful spiritual questions about our favourite pastime, walking, and about walking on the ancient Camino de Santiago as pilgrimage. Joyce Rupp learned intriguing lessons from the Camino, including: Go prepared, live in the now, be attentive to your body, embrace beauty, experience homelessness, look for unannounced angels, savor solitude, have a sense of humor, travel lightly and enter into the hum of humanity.
Quotations from J Rupp Books:
Most of all, walking the Camino called me to allow daily life to be the pilgrimage and the adventure it truly is.
What I did not realize is that in gathering and writing about these lessons, they have become even more real and alive for me. Gifts given away come back to greet us with their goodness.
The small, wooden flute and I, we need the one who breathes, we await one who makes melody.
We are grateful for the miracle of life, for the green of our earth, for the amazing grace of our history; we are grateful that we still have time to decide the fate of the world by our choices and our actions, grateful that we have it within our power to bring a divided world to peace.
NEWS: Jane’s Walks – Know Your City
Jane’s Walk is named in honour of Jane Jacobs, Toronto’s legendary urban thinker, writer and activist. Jane’s Walk is a series of free neighbourhood walking tours that helps put people in touch with their environment and with each other, by bridging social and geographic gaps and creating a space for cities to discover themselves. Since its Toronto inception in 2007, Jane’s Walk has happened in cities across North America, and is growing internationally – almost 60 cities. Plan to participate in, or lead, a Jane’s Walk next year on the first weekend of May.
CIVIC ENGAGEMENT SERIES — WRITERS’ TIP ON WALKING
Writers feel natural empathy for individuals losing their sight. Writers can serve as special walking guides for people living with visual impairment. They can develop the skill of providing rich descriptive narration using all the senses to help the person experience the walk deeply. The guide can also assist the person to write about the feelings and memories elicited during the walk.
WRITING EXERCISE — Images of Walking
Begin with an A-Z list, by writing down one brief phrase or image about walks and walking for each letter of the alphabet, such as (R) rippling water or (S) scramble over rocks. Then use some of the vocabulary and images to describe a spiritual journey.
RESOURCES ON WALKING
Bryson, Bill. A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail. New York: Broadway Books, 1998.
Cameron, Julia. Walking in This World: The Practical Art of Creativity. New York: Tarcher/Putnam, 2012.
Esteves, Emilio & Sheen, Martin. The Way – the movie, 2012.
Kenney, Sue. My Camino. Amarillo TX: White Knight Publications, 2004.
Rupp, Joyce. Walk in a Relaxed Manner: Life Lessons from the Camino. Maryknoll NY: Orbis Books, 2005.
Solnit, Rebecca. Wanderlust: A History of Walking. New York: Penguin, 2000.
Theroux, Paul. The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart, 2011.
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden; Or, Life in the Woods. Mineola, NY: Dover (1995, orig. 1854).
Thoreau, Henry David. Walking (an essay). 1962
Solvitur ambulando (It is solved by walking) ~ St. Augustine
Sometimes the truth depends on a walk around the lake. ~ Wallace Stevens
Walking is mother earth healing us and us healing her. ~ Thich Nhat Hanh
There is in fact a sort of harmony discoverable between the capabilities of the landscape within a circle of ten miles’ radius, or the limits of an afternoon walk, and the threescore years and ten of human life. It will never become quite familiar to you. ~ Henry David Thoreau
If you wish to see something new, take the same walk you took yesterday. ~ David Wolpe
If you want to walk faster, you walk alone. If you want to walk farther, you walk together. ~ African saying
On the Camino, I was presented with the idea that the true pilgrimage is not just the physical aspects of the activity of walking, but the ongoing spiritual journey as well. I could not complete this or any other journey in my life, unless I was prepared to continuously put one foot in front of the other, even when it seemed I wasn’t going anywhere. ~ Sue Kenney
Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares drop off like autumn leaves. ~ John Muir
The walker sees things clearly: the sun on the walker’s head, the wind on the walker’s face, the country under the walker’s feet. ~ Paul Theroux
Walk on Foot is a Virtue. ~ Werner Herzog