Why does walking promote freedom?

Looking east from Vancouver Island towards Mount Baker

Looking east from Vancouver Island towards Mount Baker

Driving makes me nervous. And until recently, I had always assumed it to be down to three things: my phobia of crashing; the expense of upkeep and gas; and the thought of antagonising other drivers with the resounding deficiency of my gas-giving foot.

But I realised today, whilst combing a pebble beach along the eastern shoreline of the Saanich Peninsula, Vancouver Island, that perhaps there is another explanation.

Stuck within the walls of a grunting motor vehicle, we become confined to particular channels and restricted sensations. Yet, when we walk, we hold on to our autonomy; blunders are forgiven – moreover, they are praised – constraints are few and our minds, as well as our bodies, are free to wander towards reward. ‘Perhaps that’s it?’ I thought, as I picked up a smooth, pallid stone from within the swashing waves and held its cool body between my fingers. ‘I’m nervous about driving for the fear of inhibiting what is truly natural. Walking promotes freedom.’

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