I have written of Thich Nhat Hanh before, and I know many share my gratitude for his writing and teaching. Patty Fawkner is among his admirers, and she sent me these words of his. I’m indebted to her, because I hadn’t read them before, but feel they could have been penned just for me. Straight to the heart. I hope you feel the same way…


People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle.


But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth.


Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize:

IMG_1087a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves,


the black, curious eyes of a child —

Image 1_2

our own two eyes.


All is a miracle.


IMG_3355IMG_3360IMG_3277_2Thanks to Patty for the reminder of everyday miracles.

And thanks, as ever, to my feet, for taking me to see so very many of them.

PS – I’ve updated the Events and Media page, so there are links to recent podcasts and videos etc. It has been a busy time. Gratitude for that too! For so much.

6 thoughts on “Walking on earth

  1. Thank you for these pictures Ailsa & Patty.Throughout my 70th year I kept a Gratitude Book recording in words & photos all 365 days of that year. it was a joy to me whilst doing it, and now a joy to reflect upon all the beautiful people, events and goodness in this magnificent world of ours.

    1. What a beautiful thing to do, Trish. Your very own book of days. I’ve always thought they are the loveliest of things, and considered compiling one. You beat me to it. Magnificent world, indeed! A xxx

  2. Thank you Ailsa and Patty for your comments re our world. I never cease to be amazed at how beautiful clouds are in the different seasons. I spend time each day, when it is not overall cloudy and rainy ( still wonderful) looking up at the clouds and watching them sometimes scuttle across and sometimes lazily just hardly move across the sky. To be able to see the changes in the seasons with the leaves at the moment almost gone from the vines and trees, to then show their lovely trunks and branches. I am grateful each day that I can walk, I can see and also listen to the glorious sounds of the birds everywhere. Each day is a miracle in some way and I am able to enjoy it. Thanks also for the superb photos that accompany your inspiring words.

    1. Hi Bertina!
      Yes, the clouds really are the things that frame our days, sometimes, aren’t they? The way they catch light at sunrise and sunset, and drift over or race by or loll above. Glorious. We are luck luck lucky…
      A x

  3. Sitting for 15 minutes just 45 minutes ago with a neighbour in our “villa” cul-de-sac/encourtment (if you’ll permit some word building) – catching up after my time recently in Sydney (Writers Fest/etc) – uncovering more connections from our various worlds – Quirindi/Tamworth and Bowral/Moss Vale/Bundanoon – as one does. Admiring a blooming azalea (the interchange of seasons when autumn resembles spring) and then the skies above us – a glowing soft-circle of sun behind grey clouds – and – looking to the far west – half the sky filled with a floating salmon-speckled cloud mass (iwashi-gumo – as they say in Japan – “sardine-clouds”)! Oh, yes, says Mary (nearly a decade my senior), I sit in the afternoon with Merle (a decade her senior – the next neighbour up) and we enjoy the western skies fading into peach & crimson sunsets! (I suspect – [Sherlock H.-like] – that it takes some age/some maturity for us to have the vision that appreciates the natural world in all its glory and wonder and colour – as the photos you have used with Thich Nhat Hanh’s words illustrate so well.

    1. Dear Jim,
      Azaleas! Yes you are right – they look like spring but herald winter. Amazing flowers. Interesting the Japanese go for sardines when we say a “mackerel sky”! Fish overhead, folks!
      I don’t know about age or maturity being requirements for appreciating the natural world. I saw a little tot in the park yesterday, transfixed by falling leaves. Perhaps we just need to take time…time…time…
      Thanks, as ever, for your reflections.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *