Time: 11:15 a.m.
Date: Jan. 30
Location: Minnehaha Parkway between Colfax and Dupont Avenues
Joann Babic has walked this path twice a week for nearly two decades in her regular search for silence.
This path because buildings distract, sidewalks distract, the movement of the city distracts. A few hundred paces from her house and she’s below the bustling streets and among the trees and near the creek, moving through this silent remove.
A few hundred more and her thoughts begin to breathe in the space the repetitive motion provides, in the controlled permanence of light and air.
She walks not for the expectation of ambitious revelations, only for the opportunity to consider and settle the passing slights and anxieties of the day.
Sometimes silence and calm arrive effortless and enduring. Sometimes she pursues them every step until she’s back at her front door and still it eludes her. Over the years, she’s learned to negotiate this impermanence with steady faith in the knowledge that, eventually, they will come.
Joann used to be a runner. She still likes her exercise. So sometimes she catches herself moving too fast, thoughtless and unaware. That’s when she reminds herself:
"Slower. And don’t keep your head too far down.
"Remember to look up."