“I’m walking my mind to an easy time / my back turned toward the sun /  Lord knows when the cold wind blows it’ll turn your head around”

(James Taylor)

Walking has featured quite a lot for me in the last two months or so.  After spending the first month of the shutdown flat on my back due to injury, I’ve been walking as much as I can.  Walking is physical activity that we can all take at our own pace and ability.  In the middle of April I was stoked to walk to the end of our block.  Now I’m going a lot farther every day as I continue to gain strength.

Like a lot of people, I don’t just walk for my physical health, but for my mental health.  Getting out and exciting some endorphins, breathing fresh air and watching the world green up around me is keeping my perspective grounded and helping balance the anxieties that come with so much unknown in our months ahead.

Isn’t this a blog about music?  What’s with all the mental health posts??  Well, a couple of things.  It is good to write what you know, and in this COVID season I find myself focused on what’s in front of me.

Also – YES – this IS a music blog.  I’ve shared before about the goodness of songwriting.  (It’s good for your mental health too *grin*) Walking features in my songwriting process a lot of the time.  I might sketch out an idea, lyrically and/or musically then I’ll put my guitar down and go for a walk – often a LONG walk – while my brain tumbles the idea around.  When I get home, or whenever I get to pay that idea attention, the sediment has settled and formed a solid foundation for the song to build on.  Or sometimes my brain completes the song while I’m walking, and that’s that.  I definitely recommend the process.

I’ve recently started a Facebook group called “Walking My Mind” to encourage people who walk for their own mental health.  If that’s you, please join us there to share the experience, even if you walk alone like I do.

AND for your listening pleasure, some songs about walking:

Suzie Vinnick – Walking By Myself

Erick Bibb – Walking Home

Green Day – Boulevard of Broken Dreams

Dire Straits – Walk of Life

Nancy Sinatra – These Boots Were Made for Walking

Patsy Cline – Walking After Midnight

Katrina and the Waves – Walking On Sunshine

Toad the Wet Sprocket – Walk On The Ocean

There are so many more!!  You could make a playlist that would take you a lot of steps.  Personally I like to walk with nothing in my ears, but each of us to our own.  And of course the song that is referenced at the top of this post is James Taylor’s “Fire and Rain“.

See you on the trails, folks, and I’m looking forward to hearing your songs that come from putting one foot in front of the other.  Shine on.

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