I have always enjoyed living in a place that has four seasons. This year has been especially significant. Being a grower of things and a creative, I enjoy seeing shifts in my experiences. Change is constant and I have noticed that the universe/god/whatever you want to call it will serve you up more and more change, even more so when you are trying to resist it. Have you ever noticed when you are pressed for time, maybe you misidentified the time it would take to accomplish something or get to where you needed to be at a certain time. Things tend to “get in your way”. Are they though? There is a natural pace of life and if I have noticed anything, it’s that we as a society have become accustomed to trying to spin faster than we should. Whatever you want to attribute this to, it’s worth noting. On the road, no one is out to get you but somehow your version and pace has made it seem that way. Just imagine if everyone were to travel at the speed of the speed limit on the road, no one would feel like people were in their way, or judge others for “going to slow” or feeling an urge to “get in front” of someone. We would all collectively get exactly where we were going and at an acceptable pace because we had planned for the journey to take the time it takes. To some of you even reading this might spike your anxiety because it could make you feel controlled and less “free”. What is it that’s actually controlling you? A world full of unrealistic expectations that constantly presents this idea that there is not enough if you slow down and enjoy your life a bit. Every morning I try very hard to choose to be slow, to leave extra time and even arrive to a place early. Because when I am running late (which definitely happens), I find that I am not the person I want to be. I am full of fallen expectations of myself, adrenaline from feeling so rushed and a nagging feeling that what I am interacting with has gotten the wrong impression of me. So I intentionally leave room in my day, I actively seek a natural flow.
This season I have been growing things. Flowers mostly. It has been a complete joy and it forces and gifts me with the concept to stay very present. I notice each plant, each stage of root growth, new leaves that start to form and if it needs water. To be involved in such a curated task has provided me with a firm reminder that life has a wonderful natural pace and it’s not driving 75 mph on the freeway. Yes, its good to get where your going (and fun to drive fast every so often) but slow down for a moment and just reflect on why and what you might be missing along the way. What are you missing along your journey that could significantly change your viewpoint if only you were to pay attention? I’m not referring to billboards that are trying to sell you an idea of how life could be even better “if only you would…”. No, I suggesting that you try to capture your experience of life, dare I say “live” a little more. My mom will tell you first hand that I am a busy person, so will my best friends, however, my moments of busy are rapid movements that quickly return to a very slow pace. I drive myself to teach a gentle yoga class, I leave time to get there, to set the room, the pace and the energy of the room. It’s gentle and intended to be as such. The pace is slow, we feel each other’s energy and if I have played my role, everyone leaves feeling that their experience in their body is a little more tuned up.
I consider the joy of riding a train place to place. It’s the same shared experience for everyone on the train. No one person can ride the train faster than anyone else. Does this bring the riders a little more peace? Do they arrive to the destination ready to dive into the experience more? It makes me very curious because I am constantly surrounded by those hurrying to get somewhere. But where? Are they ever arriving anywhere? Or are they simply going place to place waiting for the next place they need to go. Take a deep breath here. I know you feel it too.
So growing flowers and snow. This spring the wind has tested me to my limits. We have had gusts of up to 30 mph and I simply pray for the snow because then I know the storm has finally arrived. Oddly, this spring has been different. The wind just wont stop. However, day after day I wake up, check on the wind speed and temperature to decide if I will put frost cover on again, or recover what has already been applied, or search for frost covers around my yard. It can be frustrating but it’s also pretty magical. To be able to draw my morning down to a simple task where I am not wondering if I am driving fast “enough” and instead I get to seek out the temperature of the world around me. I have the honor to tend to these examples of new growth and the beauty of nature constantly in persistence. I get to do this! It doesn’t escape me for a single moment. I get to live in this exact moment. Breathe the fresh air that draws from a freshly fallen snow, feel the drizzle of spring rain on my neck as I pull up weeds, take wonder in giving these plants a morning drink of water and immerse myself in watching them brighten up from this shared morning. It’s magical. One of the best parts of this wonder is when I get to share it with family and friends. This past month I had some visitors to the farm, a few in fact. Seeing all these new and old faces sharing this state of curiosity and wonder leave me in awe. We shared time in community, shared time taking notice of things at a slow pace and emitting our energy into that space (fortunately the farm), creating that moment, that snapshot in time and ideally having enough of a slow pace to burn it into our memories. So it matters. So we feel alive.
I encourage you this month to observe more, see what it is that is categorizing memories in your life and to stop and literally smell the flowers.