No alarm clock was needed. I woke up realizing, “We’re in Kansas.” Father’s Day weekend pulled my heart and then my feet home.
We spent Saturday night at Rita’s parents on “the farm.” With my journal and briefcase deposited on the deck, I grabbed my coffee mug fully anticipating time to write. Yep, I might even review some work I brought along, just in case. You know, “Make hay while the sun is shinning,” as they say.
The country morning grabbed my attention tugging on me to come see. Eager to see the morning skyline I moved to the east end of the yard. Soon, like a sheep nibbling at the grass, I began wandering down the drive to the lane to the county road, all paved with gravel.
I grabbed my iPhone – not to check e-mail, my calendar or to consult Google maps – but to capture the story. My unseen Guide said, “See the lone wildflower there in the ditch.” There was the wood fence post dressed in mossy green; highlighted by the sunbeams. The thin patch of Bermuda in the center of the road turned into a million, tiny, green lights as dew reflected the morning sun. It was a well-lit runway. My unhurried feet followed.
What’s the hurry?
“Hurry up, or we’ll be late.”
“Hurry up, it’s starting to rain.”
“Hurry, they’re waiting on us.”
“Hurry up and finish eating.”
“Hurry up or we’ll miss our flight.”
“Hurry!” is an emergency Call 911! But how often is it just the voice of the Urgent silencing the whisper of the Important?
Slow down. Enjoy the Story. What’s the hurry?
When did you last watch the sunrise? Has sunset lost its spellbinding power on your gaze? When did flower blooms last hold you captive with their deep color? When did you last listen to the melody of birds?
The pace of life, ambition, needs and wants, success, information overload, the expectation to do more with less drive your life until they become habit. Can you remember the last time you experienced “unhurried”? When did you last describe your day as calm, casual, carefree?
Fear drives unproductive behavior. It takes effort to identify its source. Why were you in such a hurry this morning? What drives your lifestyle of busy? What does it cost you to live without margin? What is the affect on you physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually? How does it impact your relationships? What about your work performance?
Where you headed?
My “unhurried walk” took me north at the intersection on a “No Outlet” gravel road. As it narrowed, it became less gravel and more path-like until I arrived at Harmony Cemetery in Montgomery County, Kansas.
The tombstones displayed the Story of those who arrived “There” first, most a long time ago — Uncle Glen was buried just last month. Cemeteries and tombstones tell us of earthly life’s destiny and brevity.
Leaving the cemetery, I thought: if this is where the road goes and there is “No Outlet” why hurry to get here? Why don’t I embrace more unhurried days?
As Terry Pratchett, writes in The Last Continent,
It is said that your life flashes before your eyes just before you die. That is true, it’s called Life.
Where are you headed? This simple question is an invitation for you to push back against a life with little margin, against the grind of falling into bed to roll out again. Create space for what matters most in life and listen. That’s the beauty of unhurried walks.
Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened. – Winston Churchill
The demands, the expectations, the pressure, the pursuit of “success” will take over unless you create space to listen to the Story.
Where are you headed?
What’s the hurry?