Looking out across the puzzle piece mud flat, I twiddle a single strand of black-dried seaweed between my thumb and middle finger. “I’m nervous about going home,” voices Ellie quietly from the other side of a sleek, black, canon camera. I nod in agreement, though a part of me, the sleep deprived part I suppose, celebrates for thoughts of a quiet yellow bedroom. Geese squawk above, the vociferous melodies of spring. We had been walking for two hours now, and my body felt that satisfyingly-sun-baked type of tired that only comes from long hours of fresh air. We turn slowly to continue on our walk, or maybe just to the Wallace for a slice of toast and a warm mug of mint tea.
Walks are all around us- we read about them in assigned stories, hear about them around meal-time tables, partake in them on a daily basis. Sometimes walks are raucous; with recorders bellowing in the distance, impromptu dance parties on fallen logs, or singing repeat-after-me songs while stomping through puddles. Other times walks are taken in silence when sadness, frustration, or lack of sleep decide to come along for the ride. Then there are the walks that are deep and hollow, the ones that resonate with you, the ones you continue to take over and over again in your mind’s eye when you fall asleep at night. These are the walks where rain falls so hard that it blends the sea and the sky into a giant grey-blue mass, the walks where you howl into the distance, the walks where you get to know a new friend for the first time.
Walks are a little window into a moment, a way to escape the community that sometimes seems too close, a way to hold back the days, a way to listen, and watch, and know. When the sun shines too brightly, the people too loud, the day too long, all you have to do is nod, and take your companion out to the woods, to the water, to the peace, and the escape.
-Essie, Lincoln Academy, Maine