Merriam-Webster defines “saunter” as “to walk about in an idle or leisurely manner.” Sauntering Day was invented in the 1970s by W.T. Rabe as a response to jogging becoming more and more popular. Rabe felt that people should slow down, enjoy their lives and take in the world around them.
When I was a teen I did a lot of running. As an adult, who has gotten a bit too out of shape, I enjoy going on walks. A lot of time these walks end up revolving around how much ground I can cover rather than taking the time to look around. Running is great and so is walking, but I think that in today’s busy world more of us need to slow down occassionally and “saunter” instead.
My husband, children, and I will often go to the local arboretum where we walk through it taking our time. We stop to look at the surrounding plants and insects. It’s an opportunity for us to connect with each other and connect with nature. When we go on these walks it gives us a chance to let go of our anxieties from the past week and it gives us a chance to learn from each other. My 7 year old will see something that reminds her of something she had learned in school this past year and she will teach us something we didn’t know or had forgotten. My husband has 2 degrees in horticulture so he often has something to teach my daughters and I. Even I occasionally have something to add, as I had spent some time learning about herbal medicine from an herbalist (I’m slowly working on my own certification.)
So if you get a chance today, take some time to go sauntering. Maybe you will learn something. Maybe you will let go of some stress. And maybe you’ll notice something you haven’t noticed before.