Walking It Out • Crystal Tice

November 9, 2011 by Categorized: Natural Reflections.

I took a walk this weekend. More than one, truthfully. In my busy schedule, I don’t often make time to just go out and walk. I know I should, and I feel oh so much better when I do, but like so many other things, it just doesn’t get done.

I got home Friday after work and realized I had forgotten to pick up my allergy medicine. It had been a crappy day at work and a crappy couple of days in general. We recently lost a family member and my tween kiddo was having trouble in school. I was irritated and ready to tear into someone. Grabbing the keys, I decided getting out of the house was probably the best idea I had had all day. As I opened the door to the car, I looked across the empty lot next door at the clinic that housed my pharmacy.

The keys went back in my pocket and I trudged away across the grassy plot covered in fallen leaves. They crunched beneath my feet and fluttered in front of me as the wind whipped through the trees. On the sidewalk, the sun shone down between the clouds and warmed my hair. As I waited for the street light to tell me I could cross the street, I took a deep breath and let go.

The strong breeze blew right through me, taking away the frustration and confusion. It left me scoured and clean, able to move on beyond the hardships and start over. It also left me able to laugh with the clerk when she had an eleven year old address on file for me. If I had driven, I probably would have snarled at her. But those brief moments of connecting to the breath of the planet let me behave like a civilized being.

The next day was just as breezy and I made the kiddo go out walking on a couple errands with me. I was enjoying the beautiful leaves and trying to identify the fallen ones while he was grumbling in a version of my previous mood. By the time we got back to the car, he was joking and smiling once again. Without meaning to, he took in the same cleansing breath of wind as I had and reconnected with the earth beneath his feet.

None of my walks took longer than ten minutes, but those few, precious minutes made a world of difference.


Crystal Tice is a writer, poet, crafter, single mom, and pushes all the buttons in the toy aisle. She works full time and volunteers with her local arts group, Ames C.art, encouraging creativity in her community. Crystal lives in Iowa with her kiddo, a rabbit, and a house full of gnomes. While she has tried different flavors of Paganism over the years, she always ends up with her first love, the gods of Ancient Greece. Finding time for ritual is difficult, but she finds her spirituality and inspiration everywhere. She runs two blogs, one sharing her creativity and writing at Mused, and the other featuring her spiritual ramblings at The Gods and I.

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8 Responses

  1. I’m having a hard time understanding this post, especially on a blog dedicated to “earth and nature in pagan traditions.” I don’t mean to attack, but… are you saying you normally fire up the car and drive to a place you can actually see from your driveway, and which walking to takes under 10 minutes? I honestly have never understood such behavior from anyone, but it makes even less sense coming from a pagan. I understand that to live in some places, cars are a necessity, but it is not necessary to pollute the environment just to get to the store across the road (provided one is not disabled).

    I guess I am glad that this walk proved refreshing, but does that mean that you have decided to change your choices in the future, or was this just a one time deal? If the latter, how does that fit in with your spiritual beliefs, assuming they include some version of “the earth is sacred”? I know these questions may seem harsh, but I would like to understand better, as I see this conflict between belief and everyday actions all the time in paganism, and it makes no sense to me.

    • “I’m having a hard time understanding this post, especially on a blog dedicated to ‘earth and nature in pagan traditions.’”

      Dver, Thank you for your question. Here at No Unsacred Place, we strive to showcase the diversity of ways that Pagans and polytheists from all over incorporate a relationship with the natural world into their lives and their spiritual paths. Not all will agree about the ways and whys of how we approach such relationship. While NUP hopes to promote mindful, sacred engagement with the earth, we know that diversity is itself a deeply natural phenomenon, and that different individuals will have different approaches and responses. It is our belief that sharing these diverse approaches – including those times when we struggle or even fail – is the best way to encourage deeper, more authentic relationship.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to comment! Yes, normally, I walk to places I can see from my house. On this day, I was out of balance emotionally and spiritually, so it was odd for me to go to the car. I stopped myself from going with convenience and went for the walk instead.

    In our busy world, it is often easier to jump in a car or take the more convenient way out instead of sticking to our values. But when we do stick to them, we stay connected to what keeps us going.

    • Thanks for replying. I think having a broader context would have helped make more sense of the post. I wasn’t sure if this short walk was being discussed as a novel idea, a change from bad habits, just a random moment of life, etc. As a person who walks 1-2 miles a day just to get around (and doesn’t own a car on purpose), it can be frustrating to see other pagans so frequently choosing convenience over connection, especially when doing so not only hurts the planet, but often the psyche as well (which is what I think your post did touch upon).

  3. Nice post! Thanks, I needed a reminder to get outside and just walk. I’ve been recuperating from some fairly serious injuries now for about 2 1/2 months and I am finally at a point at which I feel good at walking up to a mile or so. And the weather is cooperating! So, thanks again Crystal for pointing it out. Time to take a walk…

  4. Thanks, Wesley! You summed it up better than I could.

    Meical, thanks! I’m glad you are getting better.

  5. “The strong breeze blew right through me, taking away the frustration and confusion. It left me scoured and clean…”

    I just snarled at my Little Lad, then saw this. Reading this I realized that I have not left the house for three days — it is 10 degrees outside, but this is not an acceptable excuse.

    Thank you for the reminder. When he gets out of timeout, we’re putting on our snow gear & going outside.

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