Art & Beauty

Walk Slow

A Farmer walking along the Fringe of a Wood. Painting by Richard Nicolaus  Roland Holst -1868-1938-
“A Farmer walking along the Fringe of a Wood.” Richard Nicolaus Roland Holst.

Dear friends,

In the midst of a busy season, as October tends to be for me, I know how difficult it can be to find rest. To seek tranquility in the throes of school, work, and life. To find moments to renew and restore one’s soul. To slow down. Bent beneath the weight of overwhelm, the thought of rest seems fantastical, even selfish.

Yet, we need rest. Our bodies signal this. Our souls whisper this. But will we listen?

Our world loves to move, move, twirling in an endless pirouette through time. To walk fast, not slow. To move on, not pause.

And it is easy to forget…

To be present.

To see the stars, the trees, the faces before us.

As I write, I’m reminded of a passage from Fahrenheit 451 where Clarisse, one of the characters, describes the perpetual activity and motion of the society she lives in. She remarks, “I sometimes think drivers don’t know what grass is, or flowers, because they never see them slowly… If you showed a driver a green blur, Oh yes! he’d say, that’s grass! A pink blur? That’s a rose-garden! White blurs are houses. Brown blurs are cows.”

Have we, too, forgotten how to see flowers, grass, houses? To see them not as “blurs” but as individual emblems of beauty, deserving of our attention?

Rest requires us to pause, to slow, to breathe, to see. It can require silence, too. I often think, with our perpetual access to entertainment and distraction, we have forgotten how to sit with our thoughts. Let us be radical, then, and embrace silence. Let us sever ourselves from the realms of passive pleasure and be still.

Although I feel the sting of overwhelm, I wanted to take a few moments to share a few thoughts born from a weary, aching but grateful soul.

Although I feel the weight of overwhelm in this time, I wanted to take a few moments to share a few thoughts born from a weary, aching but grateful heart. 

So, gentle soul

Walk slow. 

Touch silence. 

See the world as a “rose garden,” 

Not a “pink blur.” 

May you find rest

And courage

Even in the overwhelm

And the unknown. 

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2 Comments

  • Reply JAMES N BACKSTROM

    Abbi, it’s a joy for me to pause in the midst of my own “overwhelm” and catch up a bit with you here again. Just yesterday Grammy and I were again meditating a bit on “BE STILL and know that I am God” (Psalm 46). Thanks for the good reminder. Grampy

    October 17, 2021 at 9:27 pm
  • Reply Breanne Ruth Eckman

    This is what I needed to hear, Abigail. Sweet girl, these words bring the first breaths of rest they speak of. Thank you. Keep on writing.

    October 17, 2021 at 4:10 pm
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