Most of the books I’ve read about creativity encourage a daily walk. Apparently this is how many of the greats get (or got) their inspiration, and a recent Stanford study even found a strong correlation between walking and creativity.
I usually prefer to run, pound the pavement, and fly along (granted a slow flight because of my rather short and un-runnerlike build). Running lets me escape, working off whatever ails me. I will always love it as long as I am able to do it.
But this year my hip told me to forget it, so I’ve joined the walking masses and found, instead of an escape, a deeper connection to the world that lends itself to creating stories, music and pictures.
Walking, in fact, turned out to be a treasure hunt where the doubloons show up as surprises when I am least looking for them.
At times my treasure comes in the form of new and fresh ideas for a story or essay I’m working on. Much more often it comes in the form of some slice of beauty I find in a bit of nature or a person who catches my eye because they radiate joy.
Here is one of my most recent gold coins. I almost stepped on him but instead jumped back at his shape and swirling colors. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a snail like this before out of doors. He begged a picture the second I managed to avoid squashing him flat.
Not only do I find these hidden wonders on the road, but something about the act of moving my legs and going outside cracks open my mind and rewires it ever so slightly so that when I do sit down to my projects, I am ready to create.
I think those greats and the Stanford researchers are on to something with this walking idea. I might even rethink how often I run and add more walking as the hip (finally!) heals.
This month I’ll share some of my discoveries with you.
May you find treasures all your own-