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Slow Roads and Other Rhythms

I took the slow road to the beach, through old trees and old towns. The pace gentle and the timing easy. Hard work that is honorable is not meant to be frantic. This drive gave me time to breathe, to see colors. I gladly allowed cars to pass, cars that seemed hurried. I wondered at their impatience and reflect on my own. Henry David Thoreau’s gentle knowing expresses it so beautifully, “Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”

However measured. The music of drums beats a rhythm of time that for me melts away at the ocean. The music of waves is never-ending. But it’s an irregular meter. It pounds, it whooshes, it is uncountable in shouts and whispers of endless, insistent, incessant, fitful irregularity. Deep love is like that, too.

Back home in the Tennessee valley I found a new trail along the bluff over the lake. Leaves felled by winter rains still rustle softly underfoot, muffled from their October autumn crunch. A crack of rock radiates profound energies. Winter settles in with new patience; Spring must deepen in the waiting.

Many who know me see the woman who comes alive with laughter and bustle and noisy joy, the woman who loves people just because they are people. This woman, however, is only found layered between a craved solitude and the silence of nature's wisdom. Without retreats to the exuberance of ocean shore and the womb of forest I could face neither myself nor others.

I go to the beach and to the woods seeking clarity in these sacred places that make me aware of my need for solitude. An ambivert my psychologist calls it. Balanced (or not) between an extrovert and an introvert I seek the company of people and thrive – for a while – on crowds of laughter. Then I crave alone time, bubble time, when I find nature, stillness, aloneness, both comforting and necessary.

But clarity may be for one shimmering moment called Now, where wisdom is found in the seeking -- one joyful breath at a time.

TO CONNNECT. I would love to hear from you and learn how this piece (or any of my other writings here) resonate with you and your journey to finding your own deepest self, your own Real. While these writings are about my path, my hope is that they shine light for yours. You can email me directly at or you can also simply subscribe via the home page of this website. May peace and happiness be yours, always.

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