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Wednesday, August 10, 2016

"Slow down, you move too fast."

What's Your Rush?

Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.”
Lao Tzu

Liza rushed me out of bed this morning. I had managed to sleep past five, and she was not well for it. The sound of her toe-nails clicking on the wood floor and small, excited woofs issuing from her mouth, finally gouged me up from sleep. Needless to say, I was not amused. She is a dog of great regularity, and I swear, she has a pocket watch on her somewhere. I don't like being rushed—I don't think anyone does.

And yet, we are a people obsessed with time. And now, not only time, but the number of beats of our hearts, the number of steps we take, the number of hours and minutes of deep sleep, and so on. We clock everything on our fit-bits and monitor it moment to moment for signs of failing or improving health. We are so preoccupied with every tick and step that we obsessively check our gadgets for updates. That is not only inefficient, it is distracting.

Rushing through life means we miss half of what is before us. We get to the end of our days with few memories except for the number of times we went to the gym per week and how long we were able to run on a treadmill. That is not a life! Appreciating life requires that we slow down enough to encounter the unexpected, experience the unusual, and interact with the unknown. When we are living and not simply rushing, we notice details. Like right now, for instance, two squirrels are running at full speed and flinging themselves from branch to branch in the very top of the tremendous oak in my neighbor's backyard. Such gymnastics would impress an Olympic athlete, but I would have missed them had I not taken a moment away from what I was doing to watch. Mary Oliver describes this as being “idle and blessed.”

One day this week, I was in such a hurry to get to the Post Office with my shipping before the rain came, that I rushed out with two mail baskets filled to overflowing, but not my purse. I locked myself out of the house, and out of the car. I had to call one of my sons who lives way across town to come and let me in. By the time he came, I was wet, boiling hot and covered with mosquito bites. It was a wake-up call reminding me that it never pays to get in a hurry.

Today, take a little time, slow down and appreciate the life around you. Count your blessings, notice the changing season, and be idle and blessed.

                                                                    In the Spirit,


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