June 19th is best known as Juneteenth, the day we commemorate the end of slavery. Galveston, Texas claims the honor of being the city of origin for this celebration, which happened to be two years after Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. I guess we like to saunter toward progress here in Tejas. When you think about it, sauntering celebrates the joy of living, freedom from the grind of our work a day lives.
To saunter, according to the Cambridge dictionary, is to “walk in a slow and relaxed way, often in no particular direction”.
Unlike other forms of walking, including prancing, strutting and ambling, sauntering involves walking slowly with a leisurely demeanour.
While the origin of the word is unknown, it was first used in its current form in the 17th century. A description of a saunter-er was popularised in Charles Baudelaire’ The Painter of Modern Life, in which he portrayed a flâneur – a man or woman who sauntered around town observing society.
“The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite.”
However, Rabe said that while you can describe a saunter, it is a gift impossible to teach: “Those who are in the know on sauntering would say you’re born with it. There probably is a technique but it would be useless to describe it.”
So, cheers (it’s also National Martini Day) and may ambiance suffuse your day.