Thursday, April 14, 2005

The Republic of Walking

Wed Am Maudslay State Park

The sun is out in the pasture as I walk towards the lower field. But the path around that meadow is covered in cold shade so I walk on the sunny side where there isn’t a track but only rough grassland. Although it’s only uneven clumps of territory it’s still off-trail and it dawns on me that such walking is akin to the philosophical. Only here can you begin to comprehend the natural world.

Walking on a paved street, even amid trees and near marshes of reeds and cat-tails and besides a wide tidal river, is like pacing in Plato’s Cave while looking only at the shadows on the wall. And walking on a trail means you’ve turned your head around and now can see the puppets and puppeteers. The stage is rough and the all the actors look like trees.

But really walking off-trail, and especially in the middle of woods like I will later on as I try to connect two perpendicular paths with an isosceles-like slash, approaches the entrance of that cave and sees some light. For a fleeting moment you recognize the possibility that somewhere wilderness exists. And there live the Philosopher Kings.

2 comments:

Dave said...

I am really enjoying these walking essays...

Greg said...

Thanks Dave. I'm enjoying the walking.