“Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven’t time, and to see takes time.” Georgie O’Keefe
Less than two weeks until Christmas and the pace of everything has ratcheted up about twenty notches. Everyone’s lists are full with thousands of things to do before the holiday as time escapes them. Yet this is the season full of small wonders that if we slow down as Georgia O’Keefe suggests, we can see, enjoy, and experience more fully.
I’m an avid walker typically walking anywhere from 2-5 miles a day at a good clip. Right before Thanksgiving, I injured myself and haven’t been able to go for a power walk since. When I do walk, I now move at a much slower pace. My main exercise has been stretching to allow the injury to heal.
This shift in pace over the last few weeks has been challenging. I saw this forced “slowing down” as a frustrating setback, but I’m trying to approach it as an opportunity to reflect and learn. I can’t say I’ve fallen in love with the pace, but it has given me space to see that I need to practice the following skills:
Which brings us back to the quote. I’ve always loved O’Keefe’s work and recently went to an exhibit of her work at our local art museum where I saw this quote displayed. Of course, I thought about pairing it with a flower since they were the subject of much of her work. But then, I remembered this image and thought about what could be seen when looking closely at rocks. There used to be a rock formation in New Hampshire called the Old Man in the Mountain which appeared to be the jagged profile of a face. When I took this picture, I saw two profiles of creatures coming up out of the water. You may not see it, but maybe you see something else. Take a moment. What do you see?
What could slowing down give you the space to practice and stay open to experiencing this holiday season?