I walk with my mother several days each week. Over the course of the summer we’ve worked up to a little over a half a mile. That’s not bad for an 89 year old lady. I have such a good time talking with her as we stroll along. She’s told me stories this year that I’d never heard before, sometimes even about relatives I didn’t know about.
In addition to the truly good conversations we share, these walks remind me of the value of slowing down. My motto from my bike ride is, “Life looks different at 12 miles per hour.” That’s easy to forget when you jump back into everyday life. Walking with my mama remind me of it. First, it takes more time for me to get there than we spend walking so the whole idea of speed and efficiency are already defeated. Then, no matter how much of a hurry I’m in when I get there, I have to slow down to her speed. In fact, I have to slow down more than that because even she gets caught up in hurrying and has to be reminded that we aren’t racing anybody.
Most of the time I ride my bicycle, sometimes I drive. After each of our walks, I find myself moving slower and noticing more of my surroundings as I head home. The other day, I became a traffic hazard by driving only 5 miles per hour over the limit. One lady was honking and waving and screaming as she swerved from lane to lane around me. I couldn’t help myself when I caught her at the next stop light. I looked at her and laughed. I really wasn’t laughing at her, although I’m sure my amusement added to her bad mood. I was laughing at our cultural need to be in a hurry. Most of the time it’s so we can do something similar to waiting at the next stop light.