28 October 2013 by The Long Walker
It does work. Kind of like whistling while you work, the action lifts one above the moment if the moment is a limiting one.
At this time of year, it’s a sure-fire bet as the splendour of the season elevates and energizes as at no other time in nature. To me it’s almost impossible to not find my mood, if it happens to reside on the “blue” side of the spectrum, being turned to a higher order of thought, and a greater depth of feeling.
The change of seasons invites a closer communion with nature, with each season imparting a tale worth listening to, but the change into autumn speaks loudest to me. The ancients claim that Fall (or Autumn, to the non-American and non-Canadian readers) heralds a time of reckoning, a time for turning over a new leaf, where stirrings of the soul herald the approach of darkness, and the stirrings of new life. One could see the change merely as an ending, and brood over that fact; but the fiery tones of Autumn banish all such thinking for me, and a brisk walk through the landscape transports my soul to much richer and vibrant states.
Thoreau, in Autumnal Tints, observes that “most appear to confound changed leaves with withered ones, as if they were to confound ripe apples with rotten ones”, yet he sensed, from his frequent autumnal ramblings, that “the change to some higher colour in a leaf is an evidence that it has arrived at a late and perfect maturity”.
Such is the power of a walk upon our musings when taken through, and held witness to, this season of seasons. Our inner world too takes flight toward a more perfect maturity, and like the mythical long-lived bird we call the Phoenix, our state is cyclically regenerated or reborn. It truly is a “ripe” time of year, and one of the finest for a transformative ramble through our woods.
William Cullen Bryant said that the Autumn was the year’s last, loveliest smile. If that is true to you, and if you likewise find your inner musings corralling you toward the melancholy blues, get out into the Autumn woods and walk those blues away.
As a warm friendly smile banishes the contagion of despair, so too will a walk at this time of year lift you to a very different place. Thoreau again: “there is just as much beauty visible to us in the landscape as we are prepared to appreciate – and not a grain more”, and that “we cannot see anything until we are possessed with the idea of it, and take it into our heads”.
There is no finer time of the year, and no greater display of the seasons, than what we have before us presently. It will wake us and shake us out of the darkest reverie, and place us upon a stage set with the most nourishing of experiences.
Get out and take a walk through nature, and walk those blues away!
The Long Walker is based in America but blogs about how walking reconnects people to nature and awareness of others everywhere. You can find out more about him and his musings at thelongwalker.com.