Slowing Down


(Facebook recently resurrected the following essay, which was written over five years ago.)


 IMG_3178We’ve never been here before. We are in Costa Rica. The lodge where we are staying connects with trails winding through forests. We leave our room to go explore the wilderness. We walk a ways and then step from the bright light of an open field into the cool shade of a green cathedral.  My husband keeps his pace, walking briskly as though he has to be somewhere by a certain time.

I stop. I’d just began to notice, to feel, the ancient, abundant, living forest wrapping me in  its quiet peace.  A symphony of greens, each singing its own voice — the light and airy voices of the ferns, the heavier sonorous voices of the enormous philodendron and monstera. Orchids and bromeliads adding harmonies from their purchases on the trunks and branches of the trees. And, the birds — ah the birds — celebrating the morning in glorious song.

I quietly mention to my spouse that I’d like to take my time — to really experience this place that has quietly, but powerfully, captured my respect. He smiles when he realizes how needless is his quick pace. He has nowhere to go. No one is waiting for him. We have no schedule this day.

So we stop and feel and look and listen to this living, breathing, ancient place and let its peace and its strength remind us that we are more than what we do; we can simply be. And, that is so much better than we know.

Let me remember that I don’t need to speed through life. There are abundant gifts to gather and to share when I merely slow down and experience the moment.

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