It’s almost broad daylight when I walk my tiny greyhound, Ned, at 6am. It seems just a short time ago, I was walking alone (too cold for Ned) in the pitch dark. These early morning walks have become essential for my well-being. I can really feel it when I don’t walk – I feel off and unconnected with myself for the rest of the day. I started walking for “exercise.” What I was supposed to do as I got older to fight middle aged spread. That wasn’t enough of an incentive for me. Then I read the research about exercise staving off cognitive decline; that was a better incentive. But as I’ve continued to walk my 40 or so minutes each weekday, I think it has done something more. Walking grounds me, helps me remember I’m on the earth with other living things. It helps me remember I’m a body, not just a mind. Walking each morning, without earbuds piping in the news or music or a podcast, helps me relate to the world, watch the seasons, note the lengthening light in the spring and the diminishing light in the fall. Most things get put back in perspective when I mull them over while walking. Here we are at midsummer – after tomorrow, the light will again begin to shorten again….Let’s go watch.