June 19 is World Sauntering Day, so go ahead and get relaxed. According to Merriam Webster, to saunter means to “walk about in an idle or leisurely manner.” In other words, when you saunter, you walk but you’re not really trying to get somewhere. Instead, you’re just enjoying where you are with a nice, luxurious stroll.
Apparently World Sauntering Day (and the World Sauntering Society) was started in 1970 by a man named W. T. Rabe. In a time when people were encouraging each other to go jogging for exercise and recreation, Rabe suggested the much slower and more relaxed saunter at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island in Michigan.
Mackinac Island is a fancy vacation spot situated in Lake Huron between Michigan’s upper and lower peninsulas. Visitors ride carriages from the dock since no cars are allowed on the island. The Grand Hotel is a luxurious resort with a long history of special guests and an even longer porch and 660 feet long. In a spot like that, I guess it’s no surprise that guests choose to saunter rather than jog!
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you,
who walk in the light of your presence, O Lord.
They rejoice in your name all day long;
they exult in your righteousness.”