It’s pretty common to hear writers and musicians say that a lot of ideas come to them, or that the ideas they have already get sorted out, when walking. I definitely find that that’s the case for me. Especially when I combine walking with exploring with the kids.
Pa’s place in Ballan has a long row of trees and bushes along the back fence. For a grown up walking around the block is a nice stroll, for a boy it’s a huge adventure. Jasper always talks as he walks, describing everything he sees (I don’t know where he gets it from *ahem*), and following him along I got to see things see things with new eyes too. And go where I might not otherwise have gone.
When stooping under a bush, sometimes it’s nice to stop and take a photo.
I play the song “Walking Through the Garden” at my shows sometimes, asking the audience what things they might see in a garden, and making up new verses as we go. It certainly helps that I explore gardens for real occasionally.
Although, Jasper and I play pretend and do storytelling so much I’m sometimes not sure if he’s doing it or not.
At his friend Ilia’s birthday a while back he was excited by the “jungle waterfall”, which was a drain pipe running onto some plants. He also expressed concern that we might get lost forever on one other walk with Rosie and me.
The three of us had been singing a new song “What will we see? We’ll see what
we can see. When you explore with me me, what will we see?” and then describing whatever we saw next, in both real and make believe terms (look it’s a bridge! It’s a metal bridge and it’s not very long. The troll who lives under there must be tiny). This was particularly fun as we went through a noisy tunnel.
Not only do I get to enjoy their company, but every time I walk with the kids I find myself figuring out some problem from a story or song in the back of my mind. There are quite a few tunnel sequences in the computer game I’m writing for, coincidentally.
In these winter months we’re not spending as much time outside, especially not in a wandering carefree manner, as we had been (although the four of us did go exploring around Little Bendigo a couple of weeks ago). But then I look at the kids and realise, once more, that they can make an adventure out of even the littlest places. So I go exploring again.