• Lotte Wubben-moy

A Few Steps Become Many


A Walk

(the story)


It's three in the afternoon. You've been cooped up inside all day, sat on the sofa watching Netflix while you multitask through emails. (Wait, can it be called all day since you woke up at eleven o'clock? I'm not sure. I'm also not judging.) While you may be in a prime position to continue binge-watching The Crown, you notice the outdoors tempting you - knocking on the windows that haven't been opened for a few months now. But that's not the only thing you've neglected: you're close to forgetting how just under a year ago you would walk near on two miles a day to work. You decide that a walk would be a nice addition to the day's redundant schedule.

You pick your warmest coat to wear, a suitable choice compared to the mac which you would wear on a day far distant in the past or future to today. Wrapped up, you tentatively pull the door from its otherwise fixed position; half expecting there to be a surprise on the other side, but instead, you are welcomed by The Great Outdoors. (A term often used to describe England's most beautiful, traditional countryside, in today's day and age though, the Great Outdoors is anything that lies not indoors; free for all. Just as it should be.)


Stood in the doorway now, you spot a fox dive into the shadows and an individual stroll past making the coffee run. A slither of sunlight makes it over the buildings and through the trees that are opposite, into your eyes. Feeling a cool drift at your feet, you look down realizing you still have your slippers on (!!!) Lucky for you, you haven't ventured past the threshold of your front door's frame, as yet...


Moments later, now appropriately dressed, you take the day's first steps out the door; you're engulfed by a blanket of fresh air - seeming oh so foreign after a few days spent in the company of your Febreze (or if you're a little fancy, candle scents). You know not of what more scents you'll encounter on your walk - let alone the faces, views, obstacles, and more, you will inevitably come across today.


Few steps become many.


Having no predisposed arrangement of a route or meeting with a friend, you follow your nose - weary to avoid the high streets knowing that the coffee shops will have queues around the block, and cycle lanes will be overflowing. Thankful however, for the fact that at least some small businesses have survived, and that the locals have rekindled their love for the bicycle.


One thing that can't be avoided though is all the new dogs that have emerged from the year's earlier lockdown. It's not that you can complain though; loved ones kept you company during the lockdown, others may not have been so lucky, and so all things considered, a dog seems a formidable companion. What's the saying again, a (wo)man's best ...


Friendship would seem hard to sustain during this time, but fortunate for you, FaceTime or WhatsApp has proven a worthy way to keep in contact. Maybe too worthy. With screen time sometimes reaching an embarrassing nine hours a day. Even while on a walk, you fight the urge to pull your phone out to respond to the vibrations signaling that you've got messages coming in. You turn your phone on silent, and continue walking.


Few steps become many.


The only buzz now seems to be coming from the streets. You encounter people having cups of tea on doorsteps, distanced chats on park benches, and baking cakes for their neighbors. Nothing can keep the smile off your face seeing how versatile humanity has become in these circumstances. As a whole, we have ventured outdoors to enjoy life and everyday interactions, that would otherwise have been confined behind front doors and in enclosed spaces - now not possible in today's social climate.


Climate (weather) being one thing that could keep us inside. Today though, the sun is shining, you're weary to avoid muddy ditches and puddles knowing yesterday wasn't the same story. Where there are wellies, hats, and gloves, nothing seems like too much of a challenge.


Where humanity was previously challenged, it seems we have made steps forward: empathy, compassion, and joy, all on show just by walking down the road; "THANK YOU NHS & KEY WORKERS!" is painted on the road, Black Lives Matter is written on some cardboard in a window, and you notice a sign advertising free school meals to the local children.


Few steps become many.


A smile lingers on your face for the rest of the stroll home.


You reach your front door, check your watch to find you've been away a few hours, tallied ten thousand steps on your step-o-meter, and built up an appetite for a cup of tea and a biscuit indoors.


While few steps become many; a walk is a little thing that can open your eyes to so much more.

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