Opinion | The Joys of Walking

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To the Editor:

Re “That Walk Was Awesome,” by Gretchen Reynolds (Phys Ed, Science Times, Oct. 6):

I started a walking program at the beginning of the lockdown, gradually building up to two one-hour walks a day. I’ve lost 20 pounds, but weight loss was not my primary goal. I walk because I’m fortunate enough to live in a beautiful and fairly rural section of New England, and the “small wonders” mentioned in the column are countless.

I encounter few other human beings (though many squirrels), so my risk for Covid-19 infection is minimal. And although I’m certainly not a misanthrope, I find that these natural glories are best appreciated solo. You notice more, and have more time for introspection, when conversation is left out of the equation. (And to eliminate distractions, I carry a bare-bones flip phone, not a smartphone.)

I’m not as obsessive a walking enthusiast as Henry David Thoreau, who routinely took four-hour daily walks, but I certainly now understand why the ritual meant so much to him.

David English
Acton, Mass.

Creativity in Prison, Against the Odds

To the Editor:

Re “Stirring Creations From Behind Bars” (Critic’s Pick, Weekend Arts, Sept. 25):

It’s hard to imagine what talent is stifled behind prison bars. The creative urge bursts forth even under these discouraging conditions: confinement with no traditional artist’s materials.

One inmate used odds and ends salvaged from trash to create “images from his working-class childhood.” What opportunity for rehab and what talent is wasted! As I see it, this is a crime.

Phyllis Bogen
Englewood, N.J.

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