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Caution: slow speeds ahead

July 20th, 2004 · No Comments

On the street outside our neighborhood crews are creating a sidewalk. Or so I’ve heard. Right now all I know is that it is affecting how fast I can get where I want to go. Machines have taken down trees, stripping away a familiar layer of woods to expose thin pines, and workers direct traffic in strange lanes, with signs commanding STOP or SLOW. At the moment it looks like a mess. Why does construction often resemble destruction?

Slow and stop are good words for my life as well. Today was go-go-go and the next few weeks look like more of the same. High speeds in some areas of my life result in slow speeds in others. What I’m saying, in so many words, is that writing here, like the traffic on my street, will probably be slowed or stopped at some points of the journey between here and September.

I could have used a big orange SLOW sign tonight. Ted is at a meeting in Seattle. The girls and I came home from six hours of driving and shopping in time to send him off with a picnic dinner including fresh cookies. I’m so tired tonight though that chocolate chip dough doesn’t thrill me. The girls were so tired that Michaela in the tub put shampoo in her eyes rather than her hair.

I kept saying Stop! but the one I needed to stop was myself. Exhausted, I needed to discipline my response to situations rather than discipline the kids. What would have helped me most would have been to slow down. To sit and enjoy the kids rather than trying to accomplish tasks such as vacuuming…I needed someone with a construction sign to force me to stop and sit for a moment or two…

Ah but now it is slow. I’m alone in the house and hung up the phone from a conversation with a friend. The windows are open and the only sound I hear is an occasional motorcycle hum from the freeway, the distant engines of a jet, the gentle tick of the clock on the wall beside my desk. The curtains and Abigail’s birthday balloon – at the moment – are motionless. In the still of the night. I dare to type.

Tags: journal