Listen to the quiet
The first warning came from my grandmother. I was 27, running through life. Not like there was no tomorrow but like I had to get to tomorrow before anyone else did. My grandmother gave me a book, “Slow Me Down, Lord”. I did not listen to the warning.
But I remember it on this Saturday morning 42 years later, taking the time to feel the sun poking around, trying to heat things up and the breeze breezing around, trying to cool things down.
I remember it, listening to the guy two doors down playing the sax. It does not disturb the peace of this Saturday morning. Rather, it enhances it.
The second warning came from Bud Armstrong, a sales rep I knew who stuffed tens of thousands of dollars into a bank account he called his “My Time to Dance” account. He died before he reached 40, every dime still in that account, the dance never danced. I did not listen to the warning.
But I remember it on this Saturday morning, 35 years later, taking the time to watch an old fella sweeping the walk in front of his house. It seems rhythmic somehow.
I listen more closely.
It is rhythmic.
The old fella is lost in a song, stirring up dust on the sidewalk and, I’m pretty sure, memories in his mind.
The third warning came from my friend, Tommy Howard. He signs everything he writes, “Don’t Forget to Smell the Flowers”. I did not listen to the warning.
But I remember it on this Saturday morning.
My walk ends at the lake. There is a café there, Marie Isabella, offering coffee and croissants. There is also an old musician playing old songs on an old violin. Playing so softly the air around him barely moves.
I spend a little more time listening.
To the quiet.
I think of all the caregivers out there caring enough to be there day after day, night after night. Running.
I think of my two daughters and all of their generation. Running.
And running to keep up in a world moving 100 times faster than the world I ran in.
I want to say to them all … Slow down, smell the flowers, spend a few bucks.
Listen to the quiet.
Think of this as a warning.
By: William McDonald/Author/Old Friends (Endless Love)
Available at: amazon.com