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For Your Marriage

Married for 20 years and the proud parents of five children, Soren and Ever are co-founders of Trinity House Community, a Catholic nonprofit with a mission to inspire families to make home a small taste of heaven for the renewal of faith and culture.

The Family that Walks Together

We’ve recently been reflecting on the number of walks that our family has taken together over the years, traipsing through the countryside behind our home, finding paths we had never hiked before. Over and over, new views have led to new conversations and new stories.

As summer days are close at hand, we look forward to the return of these adventures.

Solvitur ambulando is a Latin phrase sometimes attributed to St. Augustine: “It is solved by walking.” Walking has been extolled by so many that the pages could fill a library. “Few people know how to take a walk,” wrote American philosopher and poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. “The qualifications are endurance, plain clothes, old shoes, an eye for nature, good humor, vast curiosity, good speech, good silence and nothing too much.”

But why, exactly, is a good walk so powerful? And what does it “solve” for your home life? The heart of family culture is the family meal, an image of the eucharistic table, the main venue in which your family’s interpersonal communion takes place. But while family meals always take the gold, walking wins the silver. And hopefully, for many, long family walks will abound this summer.

There are so many reasons why family walks can play an important part in family culture. Here are three:

  1. Everyone needs fresh air and exercise—Our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, so let’s teach our kids to treat them well! The physical health benefits of walking are undisputed. For more spiritual health, you can even pray together on your walk. Habit stacking the family rosary onto a family walk can be a great way to grow!
  2. Families need togetherness—So why not take advantage of the kind of powerful interplay of family members that the walk offers? As studies indicate, many parents spend as few as 5 hours weekly being physically present with their children. As families, we desperately need more time together. Walks are a perfect way to bring togetherness to life.
  3. Christian families need to be present in the community—So why not bless your neighbors with a visible icon of God’s love? Fewer Americans know their neighbors’ names than ever before, and isolation and loneliness abound. Your family’s physical presence on the streets of your neighborhood can be a powerful counterpoint, providing needed opportunities to connect.

Solvitur ambulando. Families today must confront a powerful trifecta of impersonal lifestyles, dying faith, and toxic culture. In the day-to-day life of a family, walking can solve some of these issues, chiefly by getting ahead of the problems in the first place.

“It is solved by walking.”