Why Autumn is the perfect season for writers to unplug and take a walk.
This morning I took my dog for a walk in the park. Red and gold leaves littered the wet grass. City workers were cleaning up fallen branches and running them through a chipper. Ducks waited along side the pond waiting for the next sucker with a bag of breadcrumbs, but they scoot away from me and my dog has her nose pressed to the ground. She’s on the hunt for the squirrels that watch us safely from the branches of the trees.
I love to go for walks. They can be soothing to the soul and clean the cobwebs out of my brain. I don’t enjoy getting cold, because once it sets into my body it’s very hard for me to get rid of it but it does allow my mind to wander and think about old ideas and find some new ones.
Lately I’ve been listening to audiobooks while I walk because, well, I like to kill two or three birds with one stone whenever possible, but I lose out on important opportunities to have quiet thoughts, to listen to nature, to have a quick conversation with a passing stranger. I don’t really schedule myself quiet time for reflection and occasionally run into opportunities like the few moments of quiet before falling asleep. It is in many ways one of my favorite things to do and yet I don’t make time for it. Quiet self-reflection is like that shy child in the corner who doesn’t want to trouble anyone, they can wait for now. I’ll get around to them eventually.
We live in a noisy time filled with unimportant distractions. Other people’s words fill our heads until we don’t know what we really think about anything. Breaks from the world and technology help us detangle the thoughts in our minds, roll them into balls, place them into baskets and take inventory. Autumn is the best time for this in many ways. It surrounds us with damp, cold, colors, and geese honking overhead as they fly south. In the midst of nature’s restructuring, we can stand still and see what is us and let the rest fall behind us to be swept away by the wind.