Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Walking Nashville ! Camaraderie and Adventure Save the World

Until a few years ago, I associated winter with short days, long nights and gray skies. Then for some reason my tip-toeing-around-the-edges-of menopause mind can't recall, one November I decided to begin my New Years resolutions two months early. That year I began walking most every morning and working out. I discovered what "they" say is true and what I knew but had forgotten. Exercise shifts ones mood.

The winter after that I determined although I wasn't particularly in the Christmas mood I would hear holiday music for the month. In one week alone, I heard the Holiday Belles at the downtown library, the Fisk Jubilee Singers in Jubilee Hall and Nashville in Harmony at Dickson's Renaissance Center. (NIH performs "Twisted Tinsel" this year Nov. 16th at TPAC.) I immersed myself in music and created a memorable December.

This year with the recent cold, I've wanted to crawl under the covers and stay until April or at least March. But I've continued my morning walks until tonight.

Yes, tonight I hiked seven miles in the downtown area thanks to a newspaper announcement regarding the Nashville hiking club. I met up at a meetup with nine other friendly, bundled up folks at Five Points in East Nashville and proceeded over the Cumberland River with the crescent moon as our guide. The river shimmered quietly flowing beneath as we walked above.

We passed the Municipal Auditorium, home to my first concert, David Cassidy (slight embarrassment) as well as the upcoming O'Jays concert. Think I may have to pay the Municipal a visit. I'm hearing "Love Train" even as I write. I confessed the D. Cassidy thing to the group only to hear one woman say she had an even more embarrassing concert confession. She had seen the Osmonds there. (I had too.) We laughed and walked on trying to recall what psychic had predicted the fall of the Municipal Auditorium roof. (Jeane Dixson, Shelby. I think it was Jeane Dixson.)

We then walked the Bicentennial Mall where under the stars the carillon stood Stonehenge-like. Gotta do that again. We climbed the stairs at the capital (need to that again and again), made our way past legislative plaza, the Ryman Auditorium and down Broadway where I had Arctic Mint Hot chocolate at Mike Ice Cream shop.

Our tribe of ten sometimes banded together and at other times were strung out a block apart. We walked organically at times in pairs yet sometimes alone, sometimes silent, sometimes sharing. I told one person of arnica montana for sore muscles and another about the microwavable disks my cats love to lie on in winter. From downtown we crossed Shelby Bridge and passed the Titans stadium enroute to Five Points.

What's my point? Stepping outside the box, trying new things, immersing oneself in new experience or as Ella and Lily, my favorite 10 and 6 year olds would say, having "adventures" is vital to a rich life. Our little group of ten didn't solve any major world problems but we shared a camaraderie reminiscent of when I've hiked the Grand Canyon.

Camaraderie, Adventure, Immersion...

Maybe our world leaders should put on their tennis shoes and start taking walks rather than sitting around those big tables and wearing their stuffy suits. Better yet, why wait for them? I suddenly hear words from the first 45 I ever played, owned by my parents not me...."These boots are made for walking...."

Imagine if we all started walking the streets of our neighborhoods and cities, getting to know our neighbors and those who aren't our neighbors like I did tonight. Imagine your daily life if you began immersing yourself in your experience...and I don't mean watching more tv.

Immersion in the new would grow a new you which in turn with camaraderie and adventure could save the world. Imagine that !
-Dawn! The Good News Muse, 8 Dec. 2010


Kelly Stewart said...

Dawn, really happy you got so much out of the urban hike last night. As the leader of Nashville Hiking Meetup, I've heard so many great anecdotes of people enjoying our events, but rarely see such thoughtful reflection on "paper." Thank you again!

Michael Huffine said...

Perhaps "Ian" who guided us on our Urban Hike last night Dec. 8th was the same ian you refer to in one of your November Blogs...I'm sure you would remember if it was,,,but there is a strange coincidence at play here...Glad you had a good time with us last night,,I enjoyed every moment of conversation with you and will be huntong down some of that anti-inflamation "Montana" stuff...hope to see you soon..perhaps on one of the other local jaunts around town..Radnor or Warner Park and work your way to 'the Fiery Gizzard" or as i call it the "Prime Evil Forest"....