We all move at our own pace. Some faster than others, some slower, more deliberate in their actions. At times I move too fast. Always on the go. Once when I wasn’t feeling particularly energetic, I lazed around on the sofa and both girls (my darling niece was living with me at the time) were shocked I was still. Are you sick? Do you feel bad? What’s wrong? Nothing. I’m just resting, I replied. I made a mental sticky note to slow down. However, like most sticky notes, it fell off and I was going at warp speed in no time. Fast forward to last week and I was walking the greenway in my neighborhood. I wasn’t taking note of much around me since my mind was in overdrive. Finish this walk, maybe go to yoga, what to make for dinner, I need to finish that report for work, has Ava finished her essay, when is our dentist appointment, can I solve world hunger on my own or should I ask for help. Lots to think about! I rounded the curve and noticed the older gentleman that I normally see fishing off the bridge. He was standing just staring into the field. I walked closer and he turned to me and gave me the biggest smile as he pointed to the field. I gave my best “I’m in a hurry but you’re a nice old man” smile and started to walk on. He kept motioning to the field and in a very heavy accent said “ look, look”. Well of course I had to stop because at my core there is a polite southern girl that occasionally gets out. As I turned, I saw a beautiful creature we so rarely see when living close to the city. A deer was greeting us on our walk. “Nice” I said and turned to go. He wasn’t going to let that happen and held up two fingers said “Two. You stay. Two”. Letting me know there were two deer. I caught myself starting to become annoyed because after all I was very busy. But I took note of the man, who I had seen almost every day on my greenway walks and had never said more than Hello to him. He was someone’s father, grandfather and perhaps husband and really what did I have that was so important? I stopped and turned to watch both deer. In his broken English, he told me to take a picture with my camera phone which of course I obeyed. We had an unspoken conversation with nods and smiles. When the deer left I turned to my new friend and said thank you. He nodded and gathered his fishing gear to leave.
I’m certain my new friend didn’t know my thanks was for much more than pointing out the deer. Thanks for making me stop, slow down and see that life is bigger than me. I’m not a flowery, cry at sappy movies kinda gal but every once in a while the universe does back up the saying “stop and smell the flowers” although in my case its “stop and watch the deer”. I hope your today or tomorrow brings you a moment that puts “slow down” on your to do list.