Learning Slowly

I have often underestimated

the gift of slowness -

ignoring it in a rush,

casting it aside when in a hurry.


Overly attuned to

calendars, schedules, and clocks,

I can treat the idea of moving in a relaxed manner

as a vice or irritant.


Like that old woman in the check-out line

who takes a moment

to put her credit card in her wallet

before stepping aside.


Or that car on the highway

driving only five miles

over the speed limit,

instead of fifteen – in the left lane.


Or that family strolling

on the sidewalk

four people abreast,

blocking my efficiency.


After years of impatient frustration,

I am reconsidering these moments

as invitations to change

my speedy ways.


I have developed some

tricks to help me

slow

down.


Feel the breath

in my lungs.


Stare out the window

at trees.


Think.


Bake bread

and make soup.


Try not to notice

how many times

I am lapped

in the swimming pool or on the track.


Take a puzzle piece in my hand.

Notice all the details, colors and patterns.

Appreciate the shape of it.

Mindfully determine where it fits.


A legend has it that

God walks the earth

at the comfortable pace of three miles an hour

in order to be fully present.


On a good day,

perhaps,

I can do

the same.



Photo: Ed Siderewicz

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