Why I Walk

My name is Kim, and I am a walker.

For years I’ve walked. Any good friend and family member knows this about me: if I invite you for a walk, be prepared to walk. “Are we talking a “Kim - far” or everyone else’s definition of far?” That’s the question they ask. Because they know that when I walk, I go and explore and look and see and keep walking. I don’t think about how far I’ve walked or what it will mean to have to go back to where we came from. I just walk. Rather than measuring the distance walked, I have the chance to measure the sound of birds, the different shades of green in the leaves, the cadence of conversations, the prayers rising up like incense, and the changing seasons.

I’ve walked city streets. One time I crossed four lanes of traffic in Washington DC to which my mother still brings up and reiterates that I almost killed her. I’ve walked across my college campus up and down hills and through town. I’ve walked boardwalks and park trails in my hometown always with my mother and many times discussing our next adventure. I walked the city streets outside my first apartment imagining the people who lived behind the doors and the children playing in the park. I walked to find community and to feel the earth beneath my feet.

I walked under the African sun, homesick and teary-eyed. I walked under the baobab trees and through the red pepper fields, passing children jumping into the river and hearing their cheers and laughter. I walked along the dusty road waving to workers in the field. I walked to visit friends and spend hours shelling groundnuts and sharing stories.

When I walked in Africa, people would laugh and ask me, “Where are you going?”

“Just for a walk,” I’d tell them.

I don’t know what else to do other than walk, putting one foot in front of the other.

When I remember all the times I’ve walked, the places I’ve been, and the people I’ve met through walking, I never imagined how far I’d go by putting one foot in front of the other. I never imagined taking steps for 500 miles across Spanish soil. Perhaps most importantly, I never pictured how the lessons of walking would sustain me in motherhood and journeying step by step with a daughter diagnosed with Childhood Apraxia of Speech who learned to talk one sound and one word at a time.

One foot in front of the other is as holy a response to life as I can imagine.

// Every month I send out a monthly newsletter, Walk and Talk. I love to walk, talk, and share stories. If you'd like to be added to the email list, sign up here. On the first Wednesday of the month, I share a short reflection and a few of my favorite things around the internet. 

// This post is part of a blog hop with Exhale—an online community of women pursuing creativity alongside motherhood, led by the writing team behind Coffee + Crumbs. Click here to view the next post in the series "True." 

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