Walk Around
Walk Around
25 - By Firelight

25 - By Firelight

Musings on the land, movement, and community on a run near Port Townsend, Washington.
Solar system in a glass ball


This is Hudson Gardner. Welcome to Walk Around.

I went for a run today down to the water

It's windy

The gusts up to 38

The water was churned by the wind, which was coming from the east, and it was quite chilly

I ran about five and a half miles, about eight minutes per mile, 750 per mile

It was a good pace

I felt excited to be out there

And I got to a place where my thoughts kind of dropped

There's a big field that I'm living in right now, and when I got back to it, I ran down a little hill on a gravel driveway, and the field opened up in front of me, scattered with little copses of trees and glacial erratic boulders on little rises, little dips in the ground, a marsh, a pond, and along the edges, a big doug fir forest

And I came down into this little tiny valley within a valley on a peninsula within a peninsula

I saw a big red-tailed hawk sitting on a fence post, and he took off as I got near, and I felt this kind of buoyant feeling in my body as I saw him fly into the gusts

And it was one of those times when I run when my thoughts just stop

And it's not even that I'm happy

It's not even that I feel pleasure or joy or any kind of emotion, you could say

It's like I've just found a place of peace where all the waves of my experience have subsided, and I'm able to look down into the water and see how deep and beautiful it is. But just to look.

It's a really special moment, and it's why I like to be outside, and it's why I like to move outside

There's something really old about doing that, maybe older than anything human beings do otherwise, just being and moving outside

It's the reason I named this podcast Walk Around, this feeling, and it's a feeling that has never failed me

As I get to know the land here, it's a remembrance from when I lived here in this area three or four years ago

It was during COVID back in those days, back when COVID was more widespread and more people were affected and everyone was masking and no one was going seeing each other, and all the events were canceled

And so it was a strange time to move somewhere

Now there's more events than you can shake a stick at, and I've met more people in the last five days than I met in Vermont in the entire year that I lived there. Which is not to say there's anything wrong with where I was, but life is just funny like that

I wrote a poem this morning about friendship and memory, connection, relationships, and a little about the land here, and I wanted to share it today

It's called By Firelight

So here it is amidst the gusts and the crackling of the wood stove…

By Firelight

The moon above the fire
Venus to one side, I look across at friends and think
how are lives formed
from such brittle matter, a connection
relational, reliable, conducted through words and what was done
a thin thread to rely on, but it's a sense
that builds slowly in the body—thoughts go unneeded, it undoes them
This quietude, as simple as a song
a knowing in the body. A sense of ease in a gaze, firelight
flickers in blue eyes, darts off glasses, glimpses
across the flames.
How lives are born, formed, subside, arise again.
I like the flame, each shape clean, and new.
What is burdened with memory
set free into heat, and light

I hope everyone has a beautiful new year, solar, lunar, and so on

Thank you for listening.

Walk Around
Walk Around
We Are All A Part. Writing and recordings about nature, existence, and wildness—at three miles per hour.
Listen on
Substack App
Apple Podcasts
RSS Feed
Appears in episode
Hudson Gardner