Monday, July 14, 2008

No Time to Smell the Roses

We are so very civilized, and civilization has its benefits. Watch television, and you know.

Earn enough money, and you only shiver when you choose to do so. $4 per gallon of gas is around every corner. Music fills the air, and a thousand shows are just a remote-click away. We need never be lonely, because our nearest and dearest travel with us in our cell phones. Our shops are piled high with clothing. Food and drink are abundant, and you don’t even need to cook, because there’s an Applebee’s in your neighborhood. If you want to eat healthy, a Whole Foods will only charge you a few dollars more for your conscientiousness. Our pets have supermarkets, and our poor live better than most of the world. Just ask them . Even in the down times, we have it made (wink).

Yet, we must be afraid of something. Afraid of dropping in the pecking order. Afraid of ceding our supremacy. Afraid of slipping behind. Afraid of losing ... something. We must be terrified, because we run. Every day, all day long, we run. We run from home to car to office to restaurant to gym to store to home. Like dragonflies skipping from leaf to branch, we run from climate-controlled environment to climate-controlled environment. In winter, we dash from warm homes to warm cars (some of us have cool gadgets to start our cars, so we won’t have to wait for the heat to kick in), and drive to warm offices. In summer we sprint from cool home to cool car to cool mall to frigid theater. As if the world were an inconvenience, we run to avoid spending too long in such an alien environment.

And, in running, we miss so much. Cool dewy mornings, warm humid afternoons, deep blue evenings - all are waystations through which we pass on the way to more hospitable places. And, in running, we never smell the roses (the natural ones, not the hybrids bred for scentless beauty). Even when we tackle the strategically-placed walking/jogging/biking paths, we are so focused on the goal, on finishing one step faster, one stride longer, that we never notice where we are.

Until the sweat builds up, and we retreat to our air-conditioned cars.


Lori Skoog said...

Fe...You are so right with what you have written. My friend Tina was at class today discussing how much she appreciates your words.

You betcha...East Coast all the way. To leave Long Beach for the desert is not a good trade for me...but they are the ones living it.

When the ----hits the fan, we northeast people are going to be in better shape than most of the country.

rebecca said...

i learned the art of slowing down many, many moons ago. this came easy as noise always tended to overwhelm me and i am married to a zen master of sorts. i've never been one to get too caught up with the noise that many find a comfort. i, on the other hand, find it anything but. many days i get in my car and drive to work or home in the silence, just witnessing the world around me. TV? i own one and it is in the den. never had one in the bedroom. never. that is my sanctuary, my retreat and no noise, but only that of nature, filters my mind at night.

you were right on target with this post. liked it very much.