Archive for March 11th, 2010

Slow Down, You’re Moving Too Fast …
March 11, 2010

I haven’t had the chance to post as much the last few months. Life has been so busy, the kind of busy where the days fly by in a blur, and sometimes I’m not sure — is it Tuesday or Wednesday? Forget about asking me the date!

I remember as a child how long the days seemed — how waiting for Christmas or a birthday or some exciting event could cause a three week wait to feel like three years.

What happened?

According to physics, as we get older, we slow down, which gives us the illusion of time speeding up. This phenomenon can be worrisome at times, as I feel myself hurtling through the years at warp speed while I worry if there will be enough time to get everything done.

Sometimes a person has to put forth the extra effort to slow down, to stop and smell the flowers, to let the less important things wait, for now, and get back to being a human BEing, not a human DOing.

There will always be things waiting: chores, jobs, worries, in a neverending loop. At times we need to slow down, open our eyes, and enjoy the view.

Because, in a blink, everything could change. As a matter of fact, it’s the very definition of life: change.

It’s one reason I love photography. Not only can moments  be captured permanently, but a photo gives the illusion of time standing still — of moments not lost, but preserved in twinkles — like fireflies on a moist summer’s night. Photographs are the fireflies of life.

What do you remember, when you think back to childhood? Often it’s not the things you think you’d remember. More often it’s the little moments, like your sister’s laughter, a beloved dog’s antics, a horse’s special nicker, your grandmother’s sunny smile … 

It’s the “little” things that dog-ear the pages of our lives. And when we’re spinning through our days like whirling dervishes, often it’s the little things that are sacrificed.

Time was vast when we were children because we were geniuses at slowing down and cherishing the little things. It can be difficult as adults. Here, there are floors to mop and dishes to put away … horses to muck and feed … antibiotics to coax into a grumpy gelding and a temperature to be taken … wet hay to rake up before the next monsoon storm …

… with everything taking longer in the mud and rain. Later, I have rescue dog kennels to clean, laundry to do, edits on my newest manuscript, mud to sweep off the porch, dog feeding, me feeding.

However, for at least an hour each day, I commit to revisiting my childhood wisdom and slowing down.

Today I’ll watch the storm clouds erase  the mountains, and think. Shut my novel’s file and tuck the laptop away. I’ll slip Yo Yo Ma’s Vivaldi’s Cello into the cd player and drift away on the soothing notes, while scratching a dog named Christmas with my foot and marvelling at how the rain comes down sideways.

Tomorrow is another day.

Like the mountains, the dogs, the horses, the weather, the children know:

Just breathe.

Just be.

 Photographs by Emily Murdoch.

(Place your cursor over the photographs for captions.)