Haiku musing on my walk this morning

Here in the desert of Southern Arizona, we are blessed with sunny skies and crisp mornings this time of year. As soon as I step out of the house in the morning I feel the energy of this place. There is evidence of javelinas from the night before who have been rooting in the gardens, the birds are establishing their territory and there are certain plants, notably ocotillos that have tall spiky limbs that occasionally droop such that they make perfect perches for birds to sit and capture the early morning rays. I call these the warming perches and they are occupied by the same crowd of birds each morning.

For the last few weeks I have challenged myself to develop a race walking style for my morning exercise. It is an amazing gait that frees tension in my back and the aches and pains of the early morning rapidly dissipate. I find that concentrating on the physicality of the gait, frees my mind to daydream about paintings and sculptures that are some place and time in the future.

I watch other walkers too. My route includes familiar faces of people that I do not know. We share a wave, a smile and “good morning”. It’s a comfortable, companionable sense of community amongst strangers.

Today however, I was struck by a few solitary people, who seemed to be bearing the weight of the world on their shoulders. There was no lightness to their gait, their eyes were cast down, shoulders hunched, teeth clenched, a grim determination marking the progress of their walk. No bird was seen, no acknowledgement of the rugged beauty that they were marking off with each plodding step. What anxieties or worries were overwhelming their spirits? Will the walk eventually penetrate the grim wall that seemed to surround them? Greetings bounced off these walls and fell to the ground un-noticed. I have been there, it’s a self imposed, cold, inhospitable place.

As I continued my walk, the vision of these people lurked amongst my daydreams. Unwanted memories of sad times emerged from the depths:

“Plodding steps mark time,
Life passing between shuffles,
Once past, forever lost.

I was forced to re visit the strategies I have used to drag myself out of that world.

“Look upward and smile,
Smell life, taste air, feel the wind,
Reframe that inner voice”

I’m looking forward to greeting the world in the morning.

Author: Marilyn

I'm an artist working primarily in wood. My work has taken a story-telling path over the past two years.

5 thoughts on “Haiku musing on my walk this morning”

  1. Marvelous musings Marilyn! How observant and sensitive you are. I am glad you have found a place of peace and can walk forward with new found energy and joy as the heavier footsteps on a solitary path can be so crushing it is almost impossible to put one foot in front of the other. To bird song and sunlight and the hope for better days ahead. Walk good as they say in Jamaica.


  2. Marilyn- Nice to hear about your morning routine. It’s a great way to start the day, and I agree it’s the best time to be alone with your imagination and appreciate what’s around you. I’m always envious of your winter climate….now that it’s winter, my morning walks are becoming sporadic depending on the condition of the roads, and require lots of decisions on how many layers to wear!

    Having said that, I guess I am Canadian for loving that feeling when you come in from the cold and your face is frozen and your nose is running, and you put a fire on, and life is good! Haha!

    Let’s set up a FaceTime or something through the holidays and catch up!

    In the meantime, Happy Tibb’s Day, and have a very Merry Christmas! Deb.

    Sent from my iPad



  3. Oh, Marilyn. This is beautiful writing. While I don’t necessarily appreciate haiku, I appreciate the idea of familiar strangers – I miss them from my morning cycle commute!Thank you!Wendy “Promise me you will not spend so much time treading water and trying to keep your head above the waves that you forget, truly forget, how much you have always loved to swim.”~ Tyler Knott Gregson


    1. Im only just starting to explore Haiku. I’m finding its limited syllable structure enables me to capture fragmented thoughts for later. Who knows where it will go, perhaps nowhere but for now it’s one of my creative muses


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