When I was a boy growing up on a farm in the hills of West Virginia, our “near” barn was about fifty yards from our house. I traversed those fifty yards several times a day to milk the cows, feed the horses, tend the chickens. I remember three things from those brief journeys.
One, I most often felt I had to run, and I did. Two, occasionally I would decide to walk, slowly; I’m not sure why. Three, and most importantly, I had my first inkling of myself, as a self, on one of those slow walks. That moment—that first dawning of a sense of self—has remained with me, in sharp detail, to this day.
I’ve hurried all my life. I’ve done almost everything in a hurry. I get out of bed in a hurry; I shower, dress, eat, read, and, I think, I even sit in a hurry.
But, I’ve done something else—with discipline: I’ve made a practice of slow. My hurry has been anchored in my slow.
Sometimes, my slow is simply an intentional moment of mind—no matter the pace or noise around me. It only takes a moment to touch patience, respect, gratitude, love—anchors of life. Sometimes, slow happens randomly, unexpectedly. And, sometimes, my slow is a set-aside time.
Where are your moments of slow? Note them. Embrace them. Because in them you find the essence of a good life.
The joy…of slow.