Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Like Walking on the Beach by Ana Campos

I sat down to write this post many times, and kept drawing a blank. My life is rushing by at warp speed right now. I'm in a huge moment of transition and change, and I'm juggling a LOT of things. This means that my always over-active mind is in over-drive right now and I had a very hard time getting it to quiet down enough to write something cohesive. 

After many false starts, I found myself thinking about my father. He is the slowest walker I know, which used to drive me nuts. No matter where he is walking, no matter how pressed for time he might be, he always walks at a glacial pace. This is where I should note that he doesn't do it because of any physical condition, he does it by choice. 

I am very accustomed to always being in a rush, and I find myself having to revisit my routines when my father visits. The ten minutes I factor in to walk to the train station have to double. The sight-seeing trip I know will take me about an hour will take at least twice as long with him. One day while walking in his neighborhood, I asked him: "Why do you always walk so slowly?" I was feeling irritated at having to slow down my usual pace.

Photo by Ana
He smiled and said, "I always walk as if I'm walking on a beach." He told me that life is always moving too quickly. We are always in a hurry to get where we are going, and don't take the time to enjoy the journey. So he makes a point of making every walk an event of its own. He pretends he is walking long the beaches of his childhood.

Photo by Ana
While I appreciated his perspective, I never internalized it until a few days ago. I was running an errand, and caught myself slowing down to enjoy the sunshine on my face. "Like walking on the beach," I found myself thinking. The lesson I learned is that living in the moment means trying to experience every moment, no matter how seemingly trivial. My goal had been to get to the hardware store, but the shift in perspective allowed the process of getting there to become something enjoyable. I had always thought of the time I spend getting to places as time lost, but now I know it doesn't have to be. Rather than agonizing over that time, I'm going to take more "walks on the beach."

Photo by Ana
(Photos from a trip to Antigua by the author.)

Ana is a pie-loving dream chaser. She owns a small creative business, Toil & Trouble, where she hand-dyes yarn and designs knitwear.  Currently, Ana is embarking on a new journey as a Studio Manager, working to develop a creative hub and empower artists to pursue their craft.  She was born in Brazil and traveled the world before settling in New England with her husband and two cats.' Read more about her on her blog:

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