Walking was never a childhood pleasure for me; instead, it felt like a daunting task, a constant race to catch up with my elder brother on Sunday mornings. I often questioned if he possessed more than two legs, as my not-so-little legs struggled to keep pace with his agile strides. In my bid to catch up with him, I hit my feet against the stone countless times, found myself panting like a Christmas goat and my Sunday drip did drip with sweat.
Yet, here I stand today, stride after stride, one foot confidently placed in front of the other, and a radiant smile adorning my face. It was during my second year of university that I discovered a newfound affection for walking. I had been given an assignment to go on a date with HS and I could not afford anything elaborate. So I dressed up that night in a black and white gown that swept the floor, I packed my braids into a bun and our walk date kicked off.
Could it be the weather, cool and temperate, teasing my dress to dance in harmony with the gentle breeze? Was it the dark skies that shined bright with the moon and stars or was it the chirping of the night creatures that swept off my feet? Was it the peace I found away from the bustling noise that I was used to? The exact reason eludes my memory, but at that moment, I found solace—a sanctuary within the act of walking. Now I could tell you that I blow bubbles and fight crime, well not exactly. Now, I take walks and discover new realms of love. With my morning walks my heart pounds with delight. The clouds seem to pull me in. Spread against the blue skies, different shapes, and shades, and sometimes I make out faces in the clouds. And each walk opens me up to the awesome details of mother nature. The flowers, the grass, the mountains, even the humble millipede gracefully making its way, the little bird I wish I could hold in my hands but rather it chooses to play the game of hide and seek with me. With each step I take, it flutters away until, finally, it spreads its wings and soars beyond my reach.
My evening walks set me on fire, here the sky is graced with a beautiful addition, the round orange shape that casts a spell on all that beholds it. And in the night, the sky dances with stars and the moon. To the sounds that the birds and insects sing. Under the night sky my heart remembers once again the tales told to her as a child, and now, I find myself living those stories, creating tales to pass on to future generations.
Ifeoluwa Suleiman is a creative writer, a public speaker, and a spoken word artist. She has a deep appreciation for the sun, the sky, and all the wonders of mother nature. Music brings her immense joy, but it’s baking and scents that truly make her heart race. Writing is her true passion, as she believes in the transformative power of words to shape cultures and change narratives. With her gift for writing, Ifeoluwa aspires to make the world a better place, one word at a time.