(Preface: Ypsi is short for Ypsilanti which is where I am currently residing!)
A few days ago, when the temperature was; you guessed it; 73degrees, I took a walk around my town for about 50 minutes. I quite literally picked a direction and started walking, trekking through EMU’s campus and taking in their surprisingly expansive campus (which I do not attend). I didn’t need music or a friend, I just wanted to walk. Obviously, it was wonderful.
Most, if not all, of the people I’ve talked to over these past few days have shared the fact that they went on a walk in the nice weather. It’s actually quite impressive how Universal post-winter walks are among humanity. A part of me thinks it’s about freedom. Like all of Winter you need to bundle up and layer on jacket over coat to even walk to your car, now this nice weather comes along and you’re able to go outside un-encumbered.
But, anyways, these walks. They’re quite peculiar to me. Don’t get me wrong, I love them. It’s a refreshing, exhilarating journey every time, and the magic has still not worn off yet. However, I feel there’s a commonly used trope that when you are on these walks and in an exceptional mood, your environment automatically becomes “brighter”. Both in the figurative sense where you see your surroundings in a more favorable perspective, and in a very literal sense where everything just seems more vibrant than before. However, I’d like to challenge this notion.
I don’t live in a particularly pretty spot in Ypsi. Coming out my front door, I’ve never been blown away by what I’m saw, and nothing was different for this walk. I still noticed the paint chipping from my porch, the splotches of dead grass on my neighbor’s yard, all of it. I soaked it in just as much as on any other day. But doing so didn’t affect my mood at all!
I don’t know why this is. I’m a firm believer that your environment strongly affects your disposition. Your surroundings reflect what you see in them onto you, at least a little. But during this walk, the opposite was true. I suppose it could’ve just been too strong an emotion for those things to overcome, but I’m not entirely sure.
The only thing I can truly say is that the “first walk of Spring” unpacks all the anxiety and mental-clutter that built up during the Winter, because mmman does it feel cathartic.
Hope you all are doing well, enjoy the weather!
Jonah J. Sobczak