Time To Stop And Stare (ms)

There’s a common misconception about these days. The thinking is that we should waste not a moment of the day, that multitasking is the way to work, that twenty-four hours of every day need to be crammed full of stuff to do. The logic is that a moment wasted is a moment gone forever and think what you might have accomplished in that moment had you been wise enough to use it. Such thinking, in my view, is not that good. What’s wrong, I ask, with wasting a little time?

Now, I don’t mean gobs of it such as an all day on line poker game or some hours long word contest you’re into with three guys from England. I don’t favor eight hour “naps” on the couch either nor am I a big fan of sampling each piece of a multi layer box of candy in search of the tastiest one. No, in these endeavors I must agree with those who say they are moments truly wasted however there is plenty to be gained from what I consider creative lingering.

I drove along a dirt road in search of autumn photos last week and happened across a nice home and yard. Beneath a maple tree, off to one side of a small pond, sat a high backed bench with a heart cut in the middle of the otherwise solid back. It was a bench not made for long term sitting, for spending an afternoon but rather a bench meant for a momentary pause in the day. Good for those folks, I thought. Here they had the perfect place for a little creative lingering.

This was a place to sit a spell and look at the tree, watch the insects around the pond, see the sun play across the small waves, listen to the birds. Moments like that, Dear Reader, are moments well spent for they help to recharge the mind if not the body. Here was a place where your mind could wander away from monthly bills, the car that needs front brakes, a not-so-good report card from one of the kids. In short, the daily burdens of the day so common in our complicated world had no place on that bench; only idle thoughts could find space next to you. Let the world go round, you’ll get back to it and continue the ride in just a little while.

This very morning I spent time at the end of a lake and water from recent high rains was pouring over the top as intended. The water cascaded down a steep incline bouncing off rock walls creating quite a roar as it went. I stood and watched for a bit happy that I could but happy also to realize I needed to do it. I tire of the race some days, the phone calls, the demands for this and that; so much to do, so little time. Better off are we who waste a little of it now and again.

–Mike Stevens

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~ by admin on October 7, 2011.

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