What if we all slowed down?

We wandered through the brush, the bristled fronds scraping against our bare arms.  December 7 and in shorts.  This is the things dreams are made of.

We stopped and peered inside the little windows and I let my mind wander.  Who were they that lived there then?  What sounds filled their homes in a time when the whirring of electronics was not yet realized?  When televisions didn’t dictate every thought and movement?  Did they, too, feel the rushing passage of time – they who had no option of jumping in the car and buzzing to this meeting or that event?

As the quiet moments ticked away the evening hours and their hands, weary from a long day’s labor, sat still in their laps, were they able to drink the moments in?  Or did those mothers, like me, find themselves each night wondering what happened and how did the day blur by in a blink?

One day older.

Did those mothers nestle their babes each night and wish they could freeze time for a brief moment just so they had the opportunity to drink it all in?  Did those same mothers also have some nights when the darkness brought a sense of sweet relief as the bustle and the energy finally stopped and they had a few brief moments of peace before it all started up again?

I imagine the mothers were very much like me in this regard.  Equal parts sad to see the days fly by and anxious for the peace the nighttime brings.  Perhaps even more so as the burden they shouldered was far greater than mine.  Their days were filled with much more labor and with far fewer luxeries.

As we walked into the tiny house, the tour guide met us with twinkling eyes, the lines in his face evidence of a life well lived.  With a gentle smile, he guided us through each room, his aging voice filled with awe, wonder and appreciation.  He understood simpler times and I heard the longing in his words as he pointed out the small tools and toys.  The days of quiet are not far removed from his mind.

I love the quiet, too.  Not setting up cable has been one of the best decisions we’ve ever made.  Evenings are filled with quiet togetherness.  Sitting on the floor, rolling the ball to one another.  Walks around the block.  Ice cream on the lanai.  Together without the noise.  It’s a step toward the simpler times.

What if we all slowed down just a little bit?  What if we all spent a little less time watching the lives of others and living our own? What if we all cut out just a few things so that the precious moments could at least be soaked in a bit before zipping past?  What if we just stopped for awhile?

I confess, the stopping and soaking in is hard for me.  It’s really, really hard.  There is so much to be done and the stopping feels like a halt in progress.  But is it?  When we stop, sit, listen and wait – does this stagnate us or, perhaps, move us forward still but in a deeper and more fulfilled manner?

As we pulled out of the gravel driveway, I turned off the radio and rolled down the windows.  This is a big deal for me.  I’m not a “wind in her hair” kind of gal.  I find it annoying and loud.  But today, instead, I listened to the wind whipping through the car, the echoes of movement passing through.  I breathed deep the salty air and glanced at the ocean just across the street.  I drove the speed limit, not pushing my speed but instead taking the time to enjoy the journey.

And they enjoyed, too.  We talked about the seagulls and the graceful way they danced on the wind.  The discussed what we would do if each of us were a bird.  How would the world look from the sky?

Even the (smokin’ hot) minivan has the potential to slow down.

What if we all just took the time?

What would life look like and how would it be different?

All photos taken during today’s field trip to Heritage Village in Largo, Florida.

Comments

  1. The day you wrote about laundry… I wrote about laundry. And the day you wrote about slowing down I wrote about my need to slow down. This was a dear post. Wish we could have been there with you today.

    • Oh I wish you could have, too. You would have LOVED this place. I couldn’t help but think of some of your writing that I read way back in the day. 🙂

      It does seem great minds think alike, doesn’t it?

  2. Truly bootiful photos! I am totally impressed.

    • Ah yes…when the lighting is absolutely perfect and the objects are inanimate, I can take decent pictures. I fI have to actually WORK my camera, though.

      *sigh*

  3. http://Karen says

    Slowing down is a GRAND thing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I confess to being jealous that you can drive with your windows down and smell the ocean…..ahhh………please do it again soon for me! 🙂