I’m sitting beside a set of geysers. We are at the beginning of the activity-window for the predictable one of the set, so it will probably squirt within the next hour or so. Note: “probably” and “or so.” My Sweetie gets up, prowls the perimeter trail a bit. I’m looking through the steam at the brightness of the lodgepole pines and the sky, the whiteness of the clouds intensifying both the blue and the green. It’s good. I don’t need to walk for the next hour…or so.
Unsurprisingly, I was right and wrong the other day. I don’t feel any slower–that is, I think I had slowed down by then. My Sweetie’s and my conversation has gotten companionably quiet in these three days. This morning we drove for an hour in near-silence, absorbing the sights along the road. And then we checked in about what plume to visit first, and what might make the rust on the ground so orange. I feel at ease, and flexible. As if I’m balanced on my toes and could stand here for hours.
So that was my being right, but here is where I consider being wrong. I wonder if my shift-to-slow shows I’m living out one of those cultural shifts I deride. See, I am skeptical when I hear grand pronouncements like, “This generation is nothing like the one before! Their communication rhythms are fundamentally altered from what has gone before!” I haven’t been seeing it…or rather, what I see strikes me as tool-driven, not heart-driven.
But now I am wondering, as one of those “fundamentally altered” age cohorts. I am thinking about my teen-aged training as a swimmer; how even now I can push my muscles, breathing, and effort intently, spur my heart to laboring, and then drop it all within seconds of equally intent slowness.
Perhaps that’s what’s fundamentally different. I treasure both slowness and quickness. And I clearly see that in these days slowness is rarely something that happens-to, but is something that can be chosen. A training, a discipline, like sports: now we are slow; we change breath, brain, heart. And live into slow the way we live fast.