World Sauntering Day

Saunter might be one of those words you have heard, but don’t really know the exact meaning. If we are to do World (or International) Sauntering Day correctly, we need to know how to do that. So to start with Merriam Webster, saunter means “to walk about in an idle or leisurely manner, stroll.” Basically, it means to wander, enjoying the scenery. W. T. Rabe created this holiday in 1979 in response to what was a growing fad back then, jogging. He believed that jogging took all the joy out of what should be a relaxing mode of transportation, taking time to see the world on foot. Proper sauntering means observing the world around you, but not worrying about time, or having anything particular on your mind – even a pet. It means letting go of stress, and just enjoy the walk.

It’s ironic for me that this holiday falls when it does. I am getting ready to move, and my life at the moment is about as far as you can get from relaxed and joyful. Yes, I’m looking forward to my new destination, but there is so much to do to get there, that my life is full of worry and mild panic.

Sauntering can be done anywhere. It’s perhaps easier in the country or a forest, but you can also saunter in a town, just enjoying watching your fellow pedestrians. The important thing is to do it in a relaxed and joyful manner, which means it would be much harder is a big, bustling city where you are likely to be knocked to the ground if you dawdle. Still, you can always find a park and stroll around watching the pigeons.

So wherever you live today, I invite you to find a little time to stroll and smell the roses. It’s relaxing and good for you.

Quotes about walking

I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.–Henry David Thoreau

The best remedy for a short temper is a long walk.–Jacqueline Schiff

My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the heck she is.–Ellen DeGeneres

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is likea piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast.–Paul Scott Mowrer

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.–Steven Wright

All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.–Friedrich Nietzsche

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.–John Muir

Walking is the great adventure, the first meditation, a practice of heartiness and soul primary to humankind. Walking is the exact balance between spirit and humility.–Gary Snyder

But the beauty is in the walking – we are betrayed by destinations.–Gwyn Thomas

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness.–Soren Kierkegaard

Meandering leads to perfection.–Lao Tzu

A little fresh air would be good for you just now. The weather is lovely; and a little stroll in the park will bring the colour back to your cheeks.–J. Palgrave Simpson

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.–Wallace Stevens

After a day’s walk everything has twice its usual value.–George Macauley Trevelyan

Nothing like a nighttime stroll to give you ideas.–J. K. Rowling

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