Walking and Innocent
Our present neighborhood here in Franklin, Tenn., is located just across the street from a shopping center that includes a Blockbuster store. Normally just a three-minute drive, when we decided to rent a movie today I did something unusual: I walked there.
Now, I felt a bit strange doing this. A bit like an outcast as I strolled along the sidewalk and unevenly through the parking lot in blue jeans, cars streaming past me. Why should this be?
There's a certain stigma to walking for a task that usually calls for a car, as crazy as this sounds. And we all contribute to it in a sense. Catch sight of anyone walking along a busy road or through a shopping center who isn't dressed for a workout, and it's hard not to almost subconsciously conclude they either are homeless or can't drive because of a DUI or don't have a job--and perhaps all three. And for some reason tonight, doing the perfectly sane, environmentally and healthy friendly act of walking to Blockbuster when I could have drove, I felt a bit marginalized.
All in my head, of course. Or is it? Is there not some collective madness when walking is, like, weird? I've heard myself say many times the past couple of years that I would like to ride a bicycle or walk all the time and not have to own a car. And yet I don't want to live in New York City or another large metropolitan area with a transportation network that removes the daily need for a personal vehicle.
I guess, in general, I am looking for ways to simplify things where I am, in the now. Taking a short walk tonight felt like the first few steps, some very common sense steps. Despite whatever stigma I'm paranoid about fulfilling.