Monday, February 13, 2012


      Lately, I have become particularly aware of the fact that I am a strident walker. I walk with purpose and what almost feels like urgency. My steps are tense and quick: rapid-fire. I move through space with strength and determination. There's nothing relaxed or quiet about it. I'm sure that anyone watching me walk would think I was in a hurry, whether I was in a hurry or not. And I'm not the only one. Lots of us walk that way. Maybe it's our culture. We are always trying to get so much done.
     Older people, and children, move more slowly. Perhaps they are wiser than the rest of us. They don't see what the big rush is. They want to rest for a moment, or stop and look at the caterpillar on the side of the path, or wonder about the building back there, or just think for a minute, or remember something from fifty years before that this moment reminds them of, or feel the sun on their face. And when they decide to pick up the tempo, it's from joy rather than intensity- maybe they're feeling fresh and lively... and sometimes children just have to hop and skip their way down the road.
     It's hard for me to slow down, even when I make an effort to do just that. I feel so driven to move fast, as if my worth is tied up with how much I get done, and how efficiently I do it. And then there is the insanity of wanting to get through things so that I can relax at the other end.
     But I want to learn how to relax as I go. I want to slow down so I don't miss all the bounty and the blessings that are always there... even on the short walk from my car to the store. I miss the small noticings by plunging forth with all of my intensity. I want to be child-like whenever I can be, and recognize the wonder of even the smallest journeys on foot.

I bring attention to the way I walk and relax the pace. I remind myself that I don't want to live my life in a rush.