The Pace       

Twice in my life, long-time friends (who didn’t know each other) have told me in serious soul-searching conversations that I walked in the confident manner of knowing where I was going in life. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In a novel I read (although I can’t remember the name) the narrator observed a scene that included a woman who was hurrying to be somewhere else. I understand that trait—always dashing to what’s next on the list. For most of my life I’ve arrived right on time, but in the last few years, I seem to be running five minutes late.

I interpreted the woman’s rush in that novel as hopeful that wherever she was hurrying to was going to be bright and fun. I like that idea of hope. But was she unsatisfied and merely hurrying to get away from something else? The reader never knows. She’s never mentioned again.

Enjoy the journey (aka live in the present) has been a mantra of mine for a long time, and yet I remember times in my life when I was so busy, I was rushing from one thing to the next. I distinctly recall the day I told myself (out loud, I believe) that as soon as the boys’ school carnival was over, things would settle down to a slower pace.

Never happened.

Until it did.

These days, the pace is sometimes too slow. It’s not that I don’t have things to do. There’s yard work (emphasis on work) that will last until winter comes again. Housekeeping is a constant repeat cycle. My stack of want-to-read, must-read, and should-read books is tall. I’m decades behind on TV shows. (I just streamed Lonesome Dove, which came out in 1989. The book is better, of course.)

Sometimes I find myself staring out the window. Not the thinking-plotting-time of staring out a window that writers do. This is just looking outside. No thoughts. I suppose I could pass it off as meditation, clearing the mind, but I don’t set out to relax my brain and just breathe.

I wish I walked like I knew where I was going in life, but I’ve never been certain of any destination.

Just curious—have you?



That Sunday Afternoon by [Veda Boyd Jones]

That Sunday Afternoon

Mike is playing ball at Ryan’s house when he gets a phone call from his mom, who’s at friends’ house, telling him to head home because of an impending thunderstorm. Normally he would have asked to wait the storm out at Ryan’s, but he still has homework and it’s already after five on Sunday afternoon. He rides his bike to his house and goes inside when the tornado sirens start screaming. He checks the local weather on TV and sees a giant funnel cloud on the TV tower cam before the electricity goes off. He and his sister run for the basement. Then everything changes.
Although this novel is by definition fiction, the events of the F-5 tornado that devastated Joplin, Missouri, are very real.

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