I have been a walker, a wanderer, for many years. Besides exercising the dog, getting out in the fresh air, and experiencing the world where I live, another reason I walk and wander is to find my place in the world and to continually renew a sense of belonging that easily slips away when I burrow in too much.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about space; personal space, in conjunction with a sense of belonging. There are times when I’m out walking and find myself feeling a little awkward, a little out of balance; each step is jarring, my shoulders are tense, my spine strains to hold up the rest of my body and my breath is shallow and uneven. I feel “out of place.” It has to do with posture, stride, breathing and something else more elusive which I’ve come to think of as needing to find the “me shaped space” that surrounds me; it’s always a little further back and just a little taller than where I start out. Once I “find” it, I feel my whole being slip comfortably in, like a foot into a custom made shoe. Everything aligns and relaxes; bones, muscles, organs, connective tissue all fall into balance, breathing becomes rhythmic and then movement, both physical and mental, comes almost effortlessly.
I understand, of course, that this is just my imagination. But imagination is a powerful thing. Try it next time you’re out walking and see if it helps you find your place in the world.