“I walk because it confers- or restores- a feeling of placeness…” Lauren Elkin, Flâneuse
Conversations others had with my mother often started out like this — “I saw you out walking…” It always pleased me to hear it. It seemed to me like a compliment.
I loved her stride. Long-legged purpose. Maybe it was when walking that I saw her the most confident. And I liked being in it, beside her. It felt certain and unsure at the same time. Admitting that you could be lost or found, but somehow, your feet held the power. Step by step. Place by place.
I suppose she always knew. Setting this pace for me at such a young age. Lengthening my gait, that we would soon walk side by side. And that one day, I would go beyond. But still, she encouraged it. And we walked. Walked and walked. Making maps with our feet. Promises with our heart.
I walk every day. Promises are kept. This place becomes mine. And a little bit hers. My feet have a conversation with the gravel. Telling of how they got here. A stranger passes, and we smile in different languages, but we know…somehow we know…there is a place for us. For all of us. Here.