A favorite movie of mine is Midnight in Paris, starring Owen Wilson. It mixes elements that I enjoy like Paris, cobble stone streets, and lonely walks at nights. In the movie, Owen’s character is confused about what direction to take in his life as he is torn over pursuing what he loves and desires, or meeting the expectations of his fiance and her family. He walks the streets of Paris alone at midnight thinking about his situation, when magical events begin to occur.
Often times, we find ourselves in similar situations of either chasing our dreams or following the paths laid out for us by the expectations set either by ourselves or others. The path laid out by expectations isn’t necessarily the best nor correct path for us to take. But this is a topic for another blog post . . .
I enjoy walking at night. The scene is typically quiet as most people are in the comfort of their homes sleeping, which leaves me alone to wander my mind and explore my thoughts. When I was in Japan, I would at least once a week go out with my wife late at night and walk at least a half a mile to the river in the coolness of the autumn season. I loved those walks and miss them dearly. They gave my wife and I exercise and fresh air. But most importantly, it gave us a chance to bond and talk about anything on our minds all the way from the apartment to the river, while we sat and looked at the city lights across it, and on the way back. Sitting on the riverbank was such a cool feeling for me because of the contrast between my side of the river, which was quiet and small compared to that of the city on the other side with its tall buildings and many bright lights.
If you have a significant other, it is important to have these quiet walks with them. It gives you both a chance to communicate and to share a moment with each other, of which a busy world does its best to prevent you from doing. In the craziness of life, we need to find those quite places, those quiet times to be able to reflect and simply spend time with our loved ones, especially a spouse.
However, it is just as important to spend time alone and to have personal walks as well. On the nights I didn’t walk with my wife, I biked the Japanese streets near my apartment. I would turn unto the main road and ride alongside the train tracks past the local high school, towering buildings, and small restaurants and older homes. I would think of the day I had. I would think of my family and my life. I would think of God and the direction I felt Him taking me. I would release my mind to any emotions I had at the time. The time alone helped me to process and organize my thoughts as well as to rejuvenate my mind and soul.
So do you like to go on walks? What kind of things do you think about when you do? I hope they are as relaxing and helpful for you as they are for me. With the autumn season approaching, plan to take some walks at night or during the twilight hours. It may be just what you need.
Please be careful when walking alone at night. Be aware of your surroundings and carry something to defend yourself with (mace, gun, whistle, flashlight, anything).