I often walk, which is not that rare of a pursuit for a bipedal animal. Walking is more than just the moving of feet, walking is a way to learn about the world. In fact, I could say I like to go "exploring", rather than "walking", besides that would sound totally stupid. There are many ins and outs that go along with just a simple walk, but one of the most significant is the strange necker cube like experience of seeing houses turn into homes.

Part of this can be explained by the scale of distances that takes place on a walk. Let me rewind this back, and talk about Zelda a bit. Now, for those of you of the right age, you might remember that when you would walk around in the overworld, and then go into a dungeon. The dungeons were built at such a scale that based on how far you walked inside of them, you would easily be off the map or bumping into another dungeon. This could be dismissed as just an example of the abstracted nature of 8-bit gaming, but it is actually a real phenomena. Buildings are much larger on the inside than on the outside. Warehouses that look to be merely large when walking by them on the street are cavernous when stepped inside of. Contrariwise, if you were to take the square footage of your domicile and lay it out on a public sidewalk, it would probably seem minuscule.

So if you are walking a fair amount, above six miles or so, you are passing by hundreds or thousands of dwellings. The normal walking pace is about four miles per hour, which means that in less than a half hour, the time it takes to maybe eat a candy bar, sing a couple songs to yourself, and try to remember the name of your third grade classmates, you can have passed through an entire town or neighborhood without really noticing what is going on. And then, every once in a while, when the fatigue or strangeness of seeing different things sets in, an entire hillside of houses comes alive, and for a second they turn into homes.

Every home has a unique feel to it. More concretely, every home has a unique smell to it, some weird alchemy where dozens of common items that people use somehow fuse into a distinctive smell that they are oblivious to, and that you become oblivious to after half an hour, only to realize it when you leave and notice it on your clothing. And every house has distinctive ley lines, little paths that make the distances between the rooms much more than their physical distance, because they show little vortexes and tension lines around grandpa's easy chair, as well as little corners that people have forgotten, but that old years worth of photographs and mementos or even a spatula that someone threw into a corner three years ago and hasn't thought of since. And so for a second, an entire neighborhood or hillside full of houses will transform so that I can see them from the inside, as a collection of unique places that would take me years or a lifetime to truly look through. And just as with all realizations that are so obvious, like the sudden flashes of insight into time and space and infinity, they often fade away a few moments later, with the idea that "oh, of course that is true", but no real sense of religious awe about it. And then I usually think about where the nearest source of caffeine is, or how long until I catch my bus, and the brief shimmer of that obvious, but mysterious world fades away.

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