Friday, March 29, 2013

Rambling thoughts on spring and things

The snow is slowly melting, one drip at a time. But it is going to take many hours of sunshine to melt it all as we have more snow this year than any other of the other seven years we have been here. Despite the lingering snow, you can truly believe it is spring as the driveway is littered with bikes, scooters, sidewalk chalk markings, street hockey sticks, and more. The unseasonably cool temperatures felt so good and warm yesterday that the kids stayed outside until dark.

There have been some sightings of migratory birds already, so I can only hope that we don't have any more adverse weather. Unfortunately for those poor birds, we are likely to have freezing rain tonight. Perhaps they will be able to find a bit of shelter for the next week as after today's highs in the upper 40s, we are dropping back into the 30s and even 20s.

Anxious as I can be for spring to show forth all the majesty of fresh color and life, I know that it will be even more glorious this year for the long wait. As with so many things, the anticipation creates its own excitement. 

Even the squirrels are in on the act. I'm so amused by their frantic chattering of late. An intrepid hunter of a cat has come to visit from her nearby home. She is a great mouser and several neighbors have benefited from her skills. Yesterday afternoon she lolled in the sun on our deck. While she was at peace, the poor squirrels were quite put out by her presence. To me, their chattering is like a call to awaken. It won't be long now and the sleep of winter will pass.

Outside, the water dripping from the roof makes a sound almost as if we lived near a small stream. A stream is ever alluring, providing endless wonders and delights for the senses, and time spent by one is time to treasure.

Spring stream along Lake Superior's north shore.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


Lately I've come across a word that has great appeal to me for various reasons.


I was reading a book (it may have been "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society") in which there was a reference that went something like "the most unhurrying person I've ever met".

The thought of being a most unhurrying person made me stop reading for a moment. Although I'm not a going-a-hundred-miles-an-hour, get-it-done-and-then-some, got-twenty-things-on-my-plate-at-one-time, kind of gal, I do tend to "hurry". I especially hurry on the days I go to town to run errands. I'm forever in a hurry and it still ends up taking more hours than I want and think it should take.

A couple of years ago, I read a book about the slow movement. It's about taking time. Cooking from scratch, eating slowly, and savoring each portion of the meal. More than just about food, it's about quality over quantity, doing things better rather than faster. It's not about doing things as slowly as possible, but rather, about doing fewer things and doing them well.

This isn't the first time I've given a lot of thought to this subject. A couple of years ago, I realized that when I was trying to make the best use of my hour long lunch break from work, if I simply chose to drive as though I had all the time in the world I felt "rich". In truth, it wasn't going to make more than a couple of minutes difference if the driver in front of me chose to go slower or if the light turned red. Sure, it felt like it was all their fault that I was getting back to the office five minutes late, never mind that I was the one who took too much time browsing before I headed to the checkouts where the lines were stretched halfway to the rear of the store.

Mmm-hmm. Rich. Wealthy. What is it that everyone in the world wants more of?

Time. We can't add any minutes to a day, we cannot buy time like groceries or stuff. When I treated those five or ten minutes of driving time between the store and work with an attitude of "I've got all the time in the world", I was much more relaxed. And, unhurried. And I felt rich beyond measure.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if your family, your friends, others you meet, always felt like you always have enough time for them? That you always listen with full attention, not trying to get to the end of the story, because you are rushing to the next stop on your list for the day?

To be unhurried, to spend the time you are given with others like it is the most important thing in the world, is an incredible gift. It is very rich. I'm going to try much harder to be an "unhurrying" person, especially with those whom I love and cherish most.


Update: This post has updated to reflect the word "unhurrying" in several places instead of "unhurried", because that is the word used in the original sentence that sparked this post. ~C.H.