Walking slowly has been one of the hardest things I am learning to do. I am a fast walker. My wife, Karen, constantly tells me to slow down. Embarrassingly I leave her behind while walking from our vehicle to the door of an establishment. She has always told me to slow down and living in a metropolis like Atlanta doesn’t help. Fast is the currency. Quickness is a tool for progress.
So slowing down is what I am currently doing, not just in walking, but in other areas of my life. Being still. Calming down. Taking a breath. Slow. Yesterday, Karen and I sat and enjoyed a lunch with a friend and enjoyed a nice and intimate conversation. We concluded the lunch when we three were ready and not when the bill had come.
Before going to lunch, I enjoyed a morning bike ride to a local monastery. When I arrived, I saw a bench and sat. I took in the sights, sounds, and yes, the smells of the campus. Breakfast was cooking. I smelled fresh bread. Birds were gathering their breakfast as well as they picked the ground searching for substance. The place was beautiful with lush green rolling hills which were blanketed by a morning spring fog.
Louis Aggasiz, a renown Harvard biologist, returned one September to his classroom. He announced to his students he had spent the summer traveling. He said he had managed to get halfway across his backyard. When you slow down, it is amazing what you are able to see.
It hasn’t been easy. I don’t know how long I will be able to keep this up. Society in which I live pushes you, pulls you, and then it can make you sit there and wait. For now, I am enjoying the slow journeys. I am enjoying taste, sights, sounds, and smells like never before. It’s an incredible life of the unhurried.
“Be still and know that I am God!” – God (Psalm 46:10)
I am a slow walker, but I never walk back. – Abraham Lincoln
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