Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things
This year, we’re walking to school with our kids. It’s only a mile away, a tiny trek through the remaining undeveloped land between our house and the kids’ school, a surreal landscape marked by desert flora, coyote dung, and huge earth movers lumbering like prehistoric beasts at the edges of the scrappy wilderness. Since our family has opted out of sports, the morning walk scripts some easy exercise into our day. But it’s also a time to talk. Mom and Dad hold court with the kids on the way to school; Mom and Dad actually get to talk to each other on the way back.
Walking boosts the mind as well as the body. Movement pumps oxygen to the brain, while the rhythmic activity and the modest multi-tasking stimulates the brain’s neurocircuits. If walking’s good for stroke victims, it’s probably good for kids and their middle-aged parents, too. And hey — did anyone say “green”?
I savor our early morning walks, but already with a sense of anticipatory nostalgia. Soon enough, the kids will want to walk to school alone. Oh, well. The wilderness will be gone by then, too.