Sometimes You Have to Slow Down

Mark Milliron Catalytic Conversations Civitas Learning Space

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Things are moving fast. Life, work, and all the rest. E-mails are pouring in, cell phone buzzing non stop, and meetings, meetings, and more meetings. At times like this, I think of Sandy Shugart’s Brick Work poem. It makes you pause. But something closer to home woke me up to slowing down this time. I was riding our Honda ATV through the Western North Carolina Mountains near our little farm. Joining me on the ride this morning is my 8-year-old daughter Alex. We’re buzzing through the Blue Ridge when suddenly she starts waving her hand up and down. I slow down and ask her “what’s up?” She tells me, “Daddy, sometimes you have to slow down to see the butterflies.” My little Buddha. I slow the ATV down and sure enough, as we creep along the path, black, gold, yellow, and white butterflies come fluttering from the flowers and bushes all around. It’s like they came out of hiding. She waves her hand again, so I put my ear closer in and she tells me, “If you stop you can hear the birds sing.” We come to a stop and I cut the engine off. Here we sit, on this crisp morning in the Blue Ridge, butterflies all around, being serenaded by bird song. She’s right. Sometimes you just have to slow down.