People walking by the shoreline

Sauntering Day: Take a Stroll

by Darling Garcia, J.D., L.L.M., Director of Community Services

Saunter: v, to walk along in a slow and relaxed manner. Monday, June 19, 2017 is World Sauntering Day. The holiday was created in 1979 by Wilmer T. “Bill” Rabe who grew up in Detroit, Michigan. The holiday is believed to have started at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan where Mr. Rabe worked at that time.

Sauntering is not to be confused with lollygagging. Sauntering is a style of walking that embodies a joyful disposition. Sauntering is best described by a quote from Henry David Thoreau: “I think that I cannot preserve my health and spirits unless I spend four hours a day at least – and it is commonly more than that – sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields, absolutely free from all worldly engagements.”

The key rules for Sauntering Day is to wear comfortable shoes and slow down our pace to enjoy the wonders around us. Here are 10 suggestions to help you get started and join all the others that are celebrating Sauntering Day:

  • A trip to Mackinac Island. The Island is accessible by ferry and there are not cars, buses or other motor vehicles.
  • A Visit to the Mackinac Bridge. If suggestion #1 was really an inspiration, you might as well do suggestion #2 while you are there! The Mackinac Bridge links the Lower Peninsula of Mackinaw City to the Upper Peninsula of St Ignace.
  • A visit to the Michigan State Capitol. The Capitol has been around 1879 and it is based on our National Capitol building in Washington, DC.
  • Take a long lunch and savor every bite and perhaps see if you can ascertain each condiment in the meal you are having, not to make a report on it, but to learn and enjoy.
  • Take a stroll through a park and enjoy its surroundings
  • Do some people watching. Sit at a bench and watch people go by.
  • Read a book.
  • Play some music and dance.
  • Enjoy a cup of coffee at your local coffee shop.
  • Walk around and see where your sauntering will take you.

I am not much of a sport for celebrating “unofficial” or official holidays, but I hope you will join me in celebrating Sauntering Day. Sauntering Day is a day to remind us all to take a day to relax and enjoy our lives and not be constantly be rushing around.

Happy Sauntering Day!

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