What is Meandering?
Well, if you want the official or one of the official definitions, meandering is “to proceed by or take a winding, indirect course”. My definition? To walk leisurely with no direct route or time limit to get to where you wind up while observing everything around you as you take that walk. Won’t see THAT in any dictionary! I think it should also mean to “walk with enjoyment”. Rivers, creeks, (or streams if you prefer) often take a meandering path. They turn, they wander, they loop back and then forward again. Look closely and there is often natural beauty that accompanies the route they take.
Meandering. It’s Good For You.
“I dressed and went for a walk – determined not to return until I took in what Nature had to offer.” — Raymond Carver
There’s much joy and serenity in taking an unhurried stroll and letting a path or sidewalk lead you with no set destination in mind and with no pressing matters “on” your mind. At least until it’s time to turn around and head back to the car or the house… at this point you are allowed (by me anyway) to speed up a bit. After all, we have things to do!
Meandering is healthy. It’s good for the body and the soul. It’s a time for you to let yourself stop thinking, if just for a short time, about things that might be bothering you. For a short time, you can put those things on the back burner and enjoy the moment while enjoying the day. Just watch out for joggers pushing strollers and kids on bikes. Not good for the body or the soul if you get run over.
The Rules of Meandering
Ok. There ARE no rules. Of course you do need to use common sense. Wear the proper shoes, be aware of your surroundings, keep your cellphone in your pocket, etc. etc. I do however, highly recommend that to get the most out of this type of walking… go alone or with someone who isn’t a chatterbox. For me, it’s a time to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. It’s not a time for a group discussion or chasing after kids.
The Meandering Mind is a Creative Mind… Usually
For creative individuals, letting your mind meander can be a good thing! Except if you’re in a classroom. Your teacher will not reward you for having your mind traveling somewhere out in space.
New ideas and new ways of looking at things often happen when we let our minds take a leisurely stroll. And we don’t have to be physically walking while doing it. The mind thing, I mean.
Sometimes, when I’m doing a poured or fluid painting, I have no real idea where an idea or piece is going to go (I know, you should have a plan! Oh well… what can I say) so… I just let things meander a bit. My mind, my paints, I just let things move around a bit to see where they’re going to wind up. Sometimes the journey takes me to a wonderful conclusion, sometimes I have to rework most of the canvas. Bah humbug. But either way, I have to tell you, I usually enjoy the discoveries and happy accidents I encounter along the way.
A mind that doesn’t explore, that doesn’t sometimes take a meandering stroll off the intended path… doesn’t have a very interesting journey.
Excuse me now. I have some meandering to do.
#karrencaseart #meandering #strolling