Busy. Busy work. Busyness. Business. Busybody. Busy. Everyone is busy these days. We have to move fast to accomplish all that needs to be done. We’re proud to be busy. And we feel a little guilty if we’re not. I know all the reasons that one stays busy, keeps busy, needs to be busy. One has responsibilities after all. A family to care for. Bills to pay. A job to keep. A community to be involved in. You know, stuff to do. And, those are valuable and beautiful things to have in one’s life, worthy of your time. At what point though do we lose sight of the fact that we’re human beings and not just human doings? Sometimes life hands us a slow motion view of what we’re doing and sometimes we slow down long enough to see it. Really see it. A few years ago I was working on a bulletin board project at a school. I was playing with children’s art work to display it to its very best. Their choice of colors and styles was so much fun! Their art teacher was fantastic at guiding each of them to their very best. Occassionally someone would walk by and we exchanged pleasantries. Soon enough I’d be back at my joyful task. I saw a friend coming whom I hadn’t seen in a while and I paused. We hugged and greeted each other warmly. There was an air of electricity about her. And, when I asked, how are you. Busy! she replied with fervor and anxiety. Can’t stop now. We’ll catch up soon. That was several years ago and we haven’t really caught up yet. She’s a fine woman whom I call friend, involved in helping more people in more ways than I can count. But, in that moment I was struck mostly by the word – busy – in all of its glory and sadness. How much simple goodness is right in front of us but we’re moving too fast to notice it. How many people reach out to us in ways we never see…because we’re too busy to see them. Sadness is often quiet I think. We have to be still to reach out and ease it for another. We have to be slow enough in our movements and thoughts to show someone, I see you. You’re all good. That’s all most of us want anyway, just to feel that someone really knows us where we are and that we’re ok. Well, I realized then that I don’t want to be that way. Busy, I mean. Too busy. Electric busy. Georgia O’Keeffe said “Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time – like to have a friend takes time.” That’s how I’d like to move through life. Gracefully. Seeing. Taking time instead of letting time take me. Don’t get me wrong, I fail miserably often and have to slow down and restart. It’s easy to get caught up in a whirlwind of activity. But, these days I try to be where I am. When I manage it and open myself to what’s right before me, I can’t even begin to tell you how all the small unnoticed moments glow with a beauty all their own. Time spent or thoughts shared with those you already know and care about takes on a sacred delight. Then there are people I don’t know at all who have shared beautiful and sometimes sad things with me. They don’t want anything from me. It’s as though they simply need to say something and feel they’re being heard. A gift of sorts that I really can’t explain. And, I never see them again. Still, in that moment it seems that I’m right where I’m supposed to be for a reason I don’t understand and will probably never know. I don’t know if any of them recall the stranger who listened but I remember each of them… as a flower I stopped long enough to see. It’s not a busy thing but it does take time. Time that I’m happy to give away.
P. S. The photo at the beginning. How much time did you take to look and what did you see? Sky? Well, it is and it isn’t. It’s really a picture of the water. The water reflecting a stormy sky. The circle in the center is the sun. In less than a minute this didn’t exist anymore. One small minute to see water and storm clouds and sun altogether before it vanished.