Mai and I made our annual pilgrimage to the towering trees at Aspen Vista above Santa Fe. The cyclical chemistry of life comes to the forefront as leaves drop down, their fiery glory fading to a golden luminescence. A sense of renewal drifts in the air as petals fold slowly into the soil.
A cross section of the community walked the trail, beholding this symphony of color. Envoys of beauty, these aspen groves, at once crooked and upright. Imagine them at night like hands and spindly fingers reaching up from the earth towards the night sky’s starry points of light sprent across the universe. A map seen by cultures everywhere continuous from ancient times.
Walking in aspen forests during Fall is special, but we don’t have to save walking for seasonal occasions. Practical and social walking integrates exercise into our everyday routines so we get that essential, natural movement that renews our bodies and nourishes our spirits.
Walking strengthens us. America Walks recognizes this and is elevating the respect we have for walking in our communities. Walking tends to be hard where we need it the most, in cities. America Walks designs health-promoting environments attuned to human sensitivities.
Walking, cycling and nature are pillars of an American renaissance. They are key to understanding the land, urban environs and our common heritage. Everything is inextricably interconnected. America Walks is our organization of the month for October, 2016.
“The pedestrian is a social being: he is also a transportation unit, and a marvelously complex and efficient one…Transportation engineers are spending millions on developing automated people-mover systems. But the best, by far, is a person.”
– William H. Whyte, City: Rediscovering the Center (1988)