The book examines the raging Western lifestyle/mindset that declares time is money, and tardiness will slide you into Hell. Presenting a new mindset, one I partially describe in this post, Honore artfully opens the portals to a new, gardenesque way of living, one that honors life and beauty, health and relationships, nature and nurture even in the midst of the whirlwind we call 'everyday life'.
Tom told me this morning, "I'll drive the girls to and from the tutor so you can have the morning off."
I read some more. Feeling very good about it all. "It fits. This is what I want. A thoughtful life that is slow when need be and fast when necessary. Balance."
Feeling refreshed with two more chapters under my belt I decided that I'd do a little straightening up, get myself road ready - at a leisurely pace, mind you, for I was very relaxed - and I'd give the girls their lift home. Blue sky warmth beckoned and Tom was deep in a project. "Thanks for your kindness, but I'll get the girls. I want to." Kiss. Good-bye!
I smiled to myself while driving. "The girls and I can stop by our favorite market for fresh produce and bread for our noon meal. Yes, this will give them a chance to relax a little from their heavy studies." Our market is beautiful and uncrowded.
In the market we stopped to smell colorful spring flowers, lifted a hand basket for our few listed items, and proceeded toward the produce aisle. My cell phone rang. We are staying close to the phone these days as there has been an ongoing family health emergency this week, one that matters quite a bit to us. Surprisingly, it was Tom on the phone, not my sister.
"Joe's been taken to the hospital. Come home." My twenty-three year old son was experiencing severe pain in his back, so extreme that his boss had driven him to the emergency room.
We replaced the hand basket and headed straight for the car and home posthaste.
Slowness, remember? Every single car in front of me drove at least five miles under the speed limit. People crowded in front of me. The lights changed to red just as I approached. I smiled at the irony. Here I was racing for the hospital when a moment ago I was the picture of soothing calm.
"Hurry up! Why are you driving so slooow! My son needs me!!"
My crazed mind yielded to calmness at last. "I'll get there. Racing won't take but a few seconds off the time. He needs me to be sane when I arrive, not wild-eyed with road rage."
It made a difference. I just needed balance. I drove my fastest, safest best while in my mind remembering that life unfolds at its own pace. Events will transpire as they ought. Before me was the choice to contribute to their unfolding in a natural way or to disturb, pulling others into a vortex of unnecessary speed.
Joe is fine. Kidney stone.
Over the intercom in Joe's hospital room we heard harp music around one o'clock. For about five seconds. Harp music in a speaker that had been silent except for paging of staff.
We found out later that the other family emergency had ended - around one o'clock.
I'm looking forward to my book at bedtime. It's been a weird yet contemplative day.