Walking, ambling, taking my time

I was not sure what to expect when I bought a copy of the book ‘A philosophy of walking’ by Frederic Gros, but the title led me to pick it off the shelf and then I wanted to read it – perhaps to see what could be deduced from my own walking habits.

Gros shares with us potted accounts of notable thinkers / walkers and how the simple act of walking becomes an important element of life.

With my camera and my dog I am often walking, although my pace is usually more of an amble as I get very distracted by nature’s presentation; the landscape never fails to captivate me. Today, the snow and the sea met and, from above, I saw my new locality in a new way – every day I make that walk I will learn something new.

I have found Gros’ book is the type that is good to keep about your person, as it can be opened and read in short bursts. The book has found its way into my bag and I read it little morsels at a time. And, yes, ambling does make my days seem longer, my life seem richer, simpler, freer.

Maybe Gros’ book will inspire others to step out and enjoy the simplicity of their natural surroundings, footstep by footstep. The book is not a complicated read, however I have not yet finished every page, as it gets picked up, put down and picked up again. I am enjoying it the book but, like a walk, there is no rush to get to the end of it.

“… the seconds fall one by one, drop by drop like steady dripping of a tap on stone. This stretching of time deepens space. It is one of the secrets of walking: a slow approach to landscapes that gradually renders them familiar.” (p37)



Arnside Knott and the Philosophy of Walking