Time and time again I have encountered people that take at least a half hour or forty five minutes out of their day to go for a normal walk. I’m not talking about the power walkers or the “look at me” walkers, but rather those that you see earlier in the morning or late in the afternoon. They just seem to go at a comfortable pace and take in the scenery while walking. I have had many of them as clients so I’ve had an opportunity ask them why they walk nearly every day. Almost all of them have told me that the main reasons they walk is to help them to either gear up for the day ahead or to wind down from the day they just had. They tell me that going for their walks also has helped them to remain more in touch with nature and their surroundings. I used to have a tenant that worked in the psychiatric field while living in Mason City and she told me that if she didn’t go for a long walk with her white Labrador every evening, she would certainly have a bad night as well as a bad following day. I really liked her and was sad to see her leave and take a post in California. She was completely without guile yet showed a real interest in conservancy of nature. I’ll never forget the evening she called some years ago wanting help to get a bat out of her house that somehow got into her main floor living area. When I went over there to help get it out, that’s all she kept saying, “Don’t kill it! Do everything you can to get it back outside alive.” Well, after taking off screens and opening windows and doors, she got her wish. So funny when I think back on that experience many years ago. Everyone thinks of bats with revile. She considered them just a part of the universe that had the right to live. Do you think walking every day helped her to get re-connected with nature? I would certainly appreciate it if the powers that be in Mason City would consider creating more walking and biking paths. It’s sort of that idea we’ve heard before, “If we build it, they will come.”

Joe Chodur

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