Friday, July 24, 2015

taking a walk

Greetings from Seaford, England!  Since I last posted from Brussels Airport, I've spent 10 days in Greece--on the island of Alonissos and in Athens.  You'd think I'd have much to write about from that experience (and I do!), but between relentless relaxing, heavy tourist activity and iffy internet connections, that real-time opportunity has passed.  So this morning I'll share a Summer Poem Swap gift that I received in June from Margaret Simon.  It came in a tiny notebook that has accompanied me on my travels, and as I have reread it in several new and unfamiliar locations, it has taken on new and interesting meanings.

Take a Walk

One leg a pillar
between earth and sky
the other, a pendulum,
swinging a single step
into a tap-a-tap-tap
percussion procession.

Disguise doing nothing as a walk.
Make harmony of mind, body, and world.
Your movements matter.  Be present.

Notice a leaf hanging loosely
wiggling like a worm
when the wind blows.

Notice your breath
in rhythm to your steps.
You are feeding the tree.

Walk through town.
Whom will you meet?
Greet them.
Invite them.
Start your own parade.

--Margaret Simon
   Summer Poem Swap 2015

Isn't that wonderful?!  At home as my summer vacation began, it fit so well with the walks I was taking in familiar surrounding, reminding me to be both present to wonder and outward-facing.  As I snorkeled the coast of Alonissos, I was the leaf hanging loosely at the surface, watching the seagrass "blowing" in the underwater wind.  In Athens, the first stanza described architecture of both stone and bone, building and body, columns of marble and columns of people stepping and swinging in and out of sun and shadow.  There were a LOT of steps!

Thank you, Margaret, and thank you, Tabatha, for organizing all this swapping!  I'm afraid I can't seem to upload any photos--this ChromeBook is not playing nicely with Blogger--but I think Margaret's images are strong enough to carry the post.  See more at the round-up today, hosted by--HA!  I'm just seeing this--Margaret herself at Reflections on the Teche.


  1. Thanks for sharing my poem today on my hostess day. I haven't taken many walks lately as the temps have climbed above 90. My phone counted my steps on a recent trip to Chicago and we averaged 20,000 a day. A vacation will do that. I'm happy that my poem has stayed with you as you travel. I look forward to hearing all about it when you return.

  2. The poem seems to have been sent at just the perfect time for your wanderings, Heidi. Wow, I love the thought of our breaths 'feeding the tree'. I'm happy you had a wonderful time, and are back now for more vacation at home.

  3. I'd love to take a walk in Greece! I'd better get started on a bucket list. Enjoy your vacation!

  4. Oh, wow. Margaret's poem is all kinds of perfect. I'll be thinking pillar and pendulum and harmony when my regular daily walks begin again.

    Sounds like you've had a summer of amazingly spectacular walks (and leaf-hangs)!

  5. What a lovely poem to accompany your relentless relaxing! Enjoy!

  6. Margaret seemed to know just what you needed - metaphorically as well as practically, with that tiny notebook you've taken on your travels! Thanks for sharing these gifts, and have a wonderful rest of your vacation. :0)

  7. I'm happy you're enjoying your well earned vacation! Well deserved.


Thanks for joining in the wild rumpus!