I love early morning walks. They give me time to separate the nonsense on my head and allow me a moment to redirect my energy. And it’s best at sunrise when the town is still sleepy and quiet. For me, sunrise means the sun comes up above an old Church, otherwise known as Old Wesley Chapel which is across from my home. For me, the sunrise comes up and sheds light on my small town on this side of the mountain. The air is crisp and cool. The trees are starting to change color and the leaves are starting to fall.
I put music in my ears or sometimes I listen to one of the poets do readings of like say, Kerouac or Carroll. Whichever I choose, I listen to something that will inspire me or energize me; this way, my feet hit the pavement with a sense of purpose.
The roads by me are hilly and long. I take the quiet trip around and across the bridge which stretches over the small pond behind the old chapel. This is my first uphill walk. I am fine here beneath the canopy of trees and fine to walk along my country road. The early morning sun is working its way to its place in the sky and the colors of heaven are changing in pretty stages of blue.
I often see deer while I walk in the morning; only, they don’t run from me. Instead, the deer perk up and look at me. They wave their tails and then they return to their grazing because they know I’m a friend.
Once I make my way up and around Old Wesley, I turn onto Grandview, which is when I pass an old abandoned home that appears as though it used to be glorious with more than 2 acres—and I pause when I see the old white colonial home; I pause to think about the opportunity and what I would do if I only had the funds to do it.
Behind the main home is a small stable. I have never ventured too deeply onto the property but when I pass, I often wonder what this home must have looked like when it was at its best.
I allow this dream of mine to mix with the sounds of inspiration I chose to listen to. Sometimes though, I remove my ear pieces because it’s good enough to hear nothing except the mountain air and the birds calling. It’s enough to look up and see the long-winged birds flying overhead to fill my lungs with a breath of purpose. And on walks like this, purpose is the reason for this process.
Walking downhill from Grandview, I cross over Spook Rock and head down towards Haverstraw. I pass by some of the larger homes in my community, which are all sleepy and quiet with cars parked in their perspective places; a little bit of moisture on the windows and windshield because of the change in temperature, big lawns in front, landscaped to their finest, and all is so sleepy and peaceful.
I like that I can see the breath from my mouth. I like that the air is not too warm, but yet, my heart is beating and I can feel my body’s benefit with every step I take. And when I step forward, I step forward and hard, clapping my footstep down against the blacktop pavement along the road, and moving fast. taking me where I need to go.
By the time I reach Haverstraw, my heart is beating. I can feel my metabolism working. I can feel my body doing its thing.
As I walk, I notice my thinking works in an interesting way. I am consumed with thought; however, none of my thoughts are hurtful or bothersome. Perhaps the transfer of energy is what does the trick.
Maybe this is the best way to switch thought with action and exchange my anxieties and stressors with the benefit of movement and energy. When I come to Haverstraw, I see the mountains in the backdrop, which I have climbed before on a few occasions. This mountain in particular is the Catamount, which is next to Horse Stable Mountain that stands next to Panther.
I have camped in these hills and underwent a serious and empowering change up there. I stood at the scenic overlooks and at cliffs looking down at God’s creation and found myself in connection with my creator. I underwent a spiritual transformation here. I was tied to an incorporation of mindfulness, connected to mind, body, and soul, and the broken bits of me became wholesome again.
I have walked these places, alone in my thoughts, and I found myself discharged from my heavy bouts with internal destructiveness. I have walked these places with a mindful of problems and stomped them into the terrain beneath my feet.
I find myself here in a sense of redemption, feeling redeemed in the sense that I have in fact replaced thought with action, and as a result; I am improving with every step I take.
Walking along Haverstraw, I pass the large homes. I pass the Pilot’s home. I pass a log cabin, which I admire and appreciate. Then I turn up onto Spook Rock Road to begin my next uphill climb. The incline of the street is not too steep as of yet; however, by this point, I am already more than 3 miles into my walk. I have already contemplated my life’s journey and felt the success of my walk.
I can feel my body working properly, like a machine, without a hiccup. I feel empowered. I am enabled to live and breathe. I am enabled to create and produce; above all, by taking this walk, I am permitted to be me, to be healthy, and to create the self which I desire to be.
I reach Joy Road then I turn left and walk up to Tranquility. These roads are the hilliest of all. Tranquility is shaped like wide horseshoe. I turn left and walk around the cul-de-sac to come back around to the other side of tranquility, which is my steepest climb of all.
I walk uphill, breathing heavy with a slight bit of strain because of the pace I’ve kept. I feel incredible at this point. I make it to the top of the street and walk around this side of the cul-de-sac, back down to Joy, and then I stand at the top of the hill before heading back down to go home.
This is the first time I allow myself to stop moving.
I breathe and look at the view ahead of me. This is a pretty scene. I am staring at the downhill street. Ahead of me are the mountains. By now the dawn is lifted and the sky has welcomed the sun onto its shift.
Sometimes, the moon hangs around and hovers in the early morning sky. I suppose the moon hangs around just to see mornings like this, which I get, because after all —the scene is absolutely beautiful, and to me, this moment is fulfilling.
I walk back down joy, turning left onto Spook Rock and heading home, I feel my body is thankful for what I have done, and as a result, I am able to navigate my way through the day without issue.
I tell you these early morning walks, they sure do the trick
I lost 60lbs this way.
and I kept it off too . . .