Slow Down and Look Around

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Are you in a hurry? Many of us are these days.

We’re so busy, busy, busy, rushing through life that we forget to slow down, stop and … enjoy where we are.  The beauty of the world could disappear for all the attention we sometimes give it.

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There is a book that I absolutely love, a children’s book, called The Phantom Tollbooth. (If you haven’t read it, you should. And you should read it with your children. They’ll even love the parts they don’t understand!)

We quote it often in our home, especially when we wonder about the disappearance of Rhyme and Reason.

At any rate, in his travels to find the missing princesses, our young hero, Milo, comes across a city where there are no streets, no houses, nothing at all – just people rushing, rushing, rushing, all of them with their noses down so they can see where their feet are going.

Apparently, they once lived in a beautiful city but they become so focused on getting where they were going that gradually the view around them faded into nothing. The people of the city never noticed. Eyes on the ground, intent on getting to “somewhere important”, they were completely unaware of the change.

How often are we like that? We rush from here to there.

I’ve been guilty of it, tugging along a child who wants to lean over the bridge and look at the brook, or taking the TransCanada highway across provinces instead of the scenic and oh-so-beautiful old highway that meanders through villages.

For those who don’t know, the TransCanada is made for speed. Here in Nova Scotia, the speed limit is 110 kph on the TransCanada.

There is absolutely nothing to see.

Nothing.

Rocks and trees and trees and rocks and rocks and trees and trees and rocks and …. water, to quote The Arrogant Worms.

(The Arrogant Worms is a Canadian group that sings hilarious songs poking fun at ourselves, our American neighbours and …. well, everything, but primarily ourselves. It’s a very Canadian sense of humour and my children know some of their songs by heart. Because I love them.)

Slow down and look at the world around you with the unjaded, unhurried eyes of a child.

Take pictures.

Contemplate the beauty around you.

This is not just for those of you in the country.

Oh, no.

There is tremendous beauty in towns and cities, and country people are just as liable to become jaded as city people.

I remember when I first moved here, every new growth on the trees was a precious gift of God. I gushed to a local man about how much I just loved this mountain.

He squirmed a bit and said, “I guess I’ve never really thought about it as pretty.”

You can be jaded and ignore the beauty around you no matter where you live.

Take a moment and comment. Tell me about the beauty of your home. Take a moment, slow down, and find something beautiful to appreciate that you had not been paying attention to. And let me know about it. I want to hear!

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