Random DJB Thoughts, What's Next...
Comments 6

Touch the earth

With the passage of time, walking has become my favorite way to see the world. Walking is an act of citizenship, helping the citizen know “his or her city and fellow citizens and truly inhabit the city rather than a small privatized part thereof.” I see this through my daily morning walks.

A deliberate practice, such as that found when walking a labyrinth, can tell us, as Rebecca Solnit has written, that “…sometimes you have to turn your back on your goal to get there, sometimes you’re farthest away when you’re closest, sometimes the only way is the long one.” You have time to think when you slow down and walk. What’s the rush? It was Edward Abbey who memorably said, “Life is already too short to waste on speed.”

Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh in the book Your True Home, has his own distinctive take on walking. As I read this passage over the summer, it immediately struck a nerve.

“Walking is a form of touching the earth. We touch the earth with our feet, and we heal the earth, we heal ourselves, and we heal humankind. Whenever you have an extra five, ten, or fifteen minutes, enjoy walking. With every step it’s possible to bring healing and nourishment to our body and our mind. Every step taken in mindfulness and freedom can help us heal and transform, and the world will be healed and transformed together with us.”

Walking is moving at the speed of life. Find time today to put one foot in front of another, again and again, and touch the earth.

More to come…


Image by chulmin park from Pixabay

This entry was posted in: Random DJB Thoughts, What's Next...


I am David J. Brown (hence the DJB) and I originally created this personal blog more than ten years ago as a way to capture photos and memories from a family vacation. After the trip was over I simply continued writing. Over the years the blog has changed to have a more definite focus aligned with my interest in places that matter, reading well, roots music, and more. My professional background is as a national nonprofit leader with a four-decade record of growing and strengthening organizations at local, state, and national levels. This work has been driven by my passion for connecting people in thriving, sustainable, and vibrant communities.


  1. Deborah,

    Oh my…how lovely and moving. No, I have never seen this film before, or heard of Godspeed but I am so taken by this idea of the pace of being known. I just finished reading a book by Tom Wright last month…and have a review of it coming up next week…so that part was timely as well. Also, the part about knowing, and calling people, by their names. I’ve made a conscious decision to do that, asking the people I meet for their name and making an effort to remember it and pronounce it correctly, which is difficult for many of us who are lazy and privileged. For example, I asked one of the baristas at the local coffee shop her name. She told me Kadiato. When I had trouble pronouncing it, she said, “You can just call me Kadie.” I said, “No, I want to learn your real name” and thought to myself I need to push past the Americanized version she came up with for my convenience. She spelled it for me. I went home, learned how to pronounce it correctly (thank you Google) and found out its meaning. Now when I walk in and call out “Hello, Kadiato” she stops what she is doing and lights up. She calls me David. We talk about her communications work in school. Small steps, but an important one for me to understand the broader point here. Thanks for sharing this. DJB

  2. Linda V says

    Hi David – I love to walk, and this gives me a wonderful new perspective on it. Thankyou!

    • Thanks, Linda. I’m glad it took your thinking about walking down new paths. Thanks for reading! DJB

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