I’m honored to have been a guest on Patricia’s Pen. Thank you Tricia!
Today on Patricia’s Pen I’m delighted to introduce Poet, Camilla Downs, who has come to chat about how walking inspires her writing. Without further ado, let’s go over to Camilla.
Just as a cool glass of water slakes my thirst on a scorching hot day, going for walks quenches the thirst of my heart and soul to know my true self, to heal, to release, to allow joy, and to be at peace. Walking guides me in the loving way to process life, to fulfill life, to let life be, and to take action.
During the years of 2010 – 2019, I took a deep dive into healing myself, learning and practising mindfulness, meditation, and emotional connection. I left a 10 year marriage in December of 2006, becoming a solo parent to my two kids who were 1 year old and 5 years old at the time.
There was much I needed to process having to do with that, along with experiences of childhood, youth, my teenage years, and early adult life.
My way of processing life was (and is) to walk and write about what I am experiencing. During those years of healing I would write about what I was experiencing, ending the writing with asking ‘What do I need to know?’ I would then free-write a response, almost always a writing that soothed my soul, or set forth steps I may want to take.
For the past 20 years I have been going for walks. The meaning and depth of the walks have shifted throughout the years. What started as an activity simply to satisfy my desire to be active, bloomed into a walking practice. A practice to process healing, to release, to discover my authentic self, and to connect with nature.
Photo by Camilla Down taken during a walk at Scripts Wildlife Preserve – Reno, Nevada, USA – 2020
Going for a walk at least three times a week has literally kept me going when I felt I could not carry on, and propelled me into bliss in times of joy. Each time I walk I have a different experience.
At some point my writings combined with my walks and nature photography. Nearly every day when I returned from my walk, I would swipe through the photos I took, paying close attention to how my body felt. When moved, I would choose a photo, and ask what I was to share. Poetry would flow from that. It was really quite amazing for me to experience.
In the beginning of 2019, I decided I was ready to put forth another book. As I sat looking through my writings, the free-verse poetry kept coming to the forefront. I realized that I had been writing poetry for six years, with a knowing that the poetry was to be the next book.
Words of Alchemy was published in December 2019. I’ve been on a sabbatical from writing since that time, as I felt I needed a break. I feel sure that once I’m moved to write again, the words will eventually flow.
May you be inspired to explore how walking could create a shift in your life; whether that be ever so small or ever so big.
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“Words of Alchemy”, published December 2019, is a free-verse poetry memoir covering the last 6 years of my life. The poetry of nature, the poetry of healing, the poetry of appreciation, the poetry of love, in one beautiful book.