On my run, yesterday morning, I saw a house with a sign in the window that read, “Life In The Slow Lane”. Just as I was running past, a woman came outside and I waved and said good morning. She hesitated for a moment and then said with a smile, “You are a brave woman”. I knew that she was talking about running in the heat (it was about 7 am, and already hot and humid). I was going to say something back about the weather, as a little voice in my head said, “Just accept the compliment.” I simply said, “Thank you.”
I also chose to drive a different route home yesterday…a longer, unfamiliar route. This was a “brave” and unusual decision for me. I’ve been the type of person who liked the most direct, quickest path from one point to the other. I have “prided myself” on being punctual and being able to accurately predict arrival times. This type of mindset did not allow for meandering.
I didn’t start out for home with this intention, but the words, “What is the hurry?” kept coming to mind. My plans to get coffee in Concord, stop for a bathroom break and fuel in White River Junction, were gone. I took unfamiliar roads, thought I was lost twice, and both times better routes were presented. About noon, and not knowing exactly where I was (needing a good cup of coffee and some food), I saw a sign, “Harlow Organic Farm Stand and Cafe.” I pulled in and sat in my car for a moment in stunned silence. Nothing could have been more perfect: great food, wonderful people, and dark organic coffee.
When I was a kid, I loved roller coasters. I allowed the roller coaster with its twists and turns to take me and it was fun. The unexpected was what I wanted. I slowly, almost imperceptibly moved toward trying to control more and more of my outer life. Rigid routines and ideas crept in like a slow internal paralysis. I thought of the roller coaster ride yesterday because it dawned on me how awful it was when I was trying to direct it; sitting rigidly in the little car futilely trying to maintain my composure, and how exciting it was when I let go….let go and trusted. Today is a new day and it is going to be a good one.
“As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit.” Emmanuel Teney