5 Kilometers per Hour

Roger Lynn is an experiential mystic – lover of life – photographer – flute player – poet – hiker – hot spring soaker – expresser of gratitude – blessed beyond the capacity of words to express. He currently lives in Boulder, CO.

I’d love to hear from you!


For the vast majority of the time that humans have been on this planet we have travelled at a speed of about 5 kilometers per hour. In other words, we walked. It was the speed at which we observed and processed the world around us. In terms of evolution, it is a speed that is baked into what makes us human. Of course we are adaptable and creatively inventive, so when horses, and trains, and  cars, and planes, and rocket ships came along we adapted our observational capacity to the reality of moving faster (sometimes LOTS faster). But I believe that somewhere deep inside of us there is still a Speed Limit sign that says “5 Km Per Hour”. Adaptable we may be, but from time to time it is helpful slow down and observe/experience the world from a more human speed. Simon and Garfunkel reminded us to “slow down – you’re moving too fast.” In one of her songs, singer/songwriter Carrie Newcomer sings about “travelling faster than my soul can go.” There are things we simply won’t notice from the fast lane on the freeway. 

In the past several years I have been learning the value of walking. I walk a lot. And what I find, when I remember to pay attention and notice, is that my life is fuller and richer and more filled with peace when I walk. I have the opportunity to experience the beauty of a sunrise. There is time to reflect on my life. Haikus get written to the rhythm of my footsteps. Bird songs find their way into my awareness. A small lizard scurries across the path in front of me and I have time to notice, and to be grateful in the noticing.

I recognize that in this world in which we live today, walking can sometimes be a luxury. There are places to go and things to do, people to meet and schedules to keep. Before I retired it was a rare occasion when it was possible to spend several hours walking in the mornings. But even in the midst of our sometimes hectic lives, it is possible to find some time, at least occasionally, to slow down and catch up with ourselves. If you’re not already doing it, I encourage you to give it a try. I’m pretty sure you won’t be sorry.



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