On Slowing Down . . .

Gus the granddog Coping with the Heat

This morning’s lesson is simple: Slow down.

As I write this, it’s hot outside. Really hot. It’s hard to enjoy being outside when the temperature soars to 105 and it’s humid. 
I probably won’t take a walk today. I live in the suburbs and the sidewalks and pavement get so hot, you feel as if you’re walking on a hot stovetop. When I see those heat waves rising from the ground, I’m reminded of an old western movie, when the star is stranded in the barren desert. He sees a mirage ahead and runs forward–starving for water–only to find more dust and sand. 
I stumbled across a blogpost this morning, written by author Mary Ellis on Peggy Blann Phifer’s blog, outlining a few lessons learned from Mary’s study of the Amish. Among them, the words in my title, “Slow down.” Ah, what a timely lesson. In the brutal heat of summer, it might be a little easier to achieve. And then I realize how true it is. You can actually accomplish more, and do a better job along the way.
Take a look at your pets. When it’s hot, what are they doing? I don’t have pets, but I can look out on my patio and see squirrels lying on the concrete in the shade–on their bellies. They’re not rushing around, squirreling away food for the winter, they’re taking a break from the heat. The birds are enjoying whatever water they can find. None of them is in a hurry, it’s just too hot.
So today, I’m going to narrow down my to-do list. I’m going to center my energy on what’s truly important. But first, I think I’ll take a few minutes to sip a glass of cool water, breathe deeply, and enjoy my day off.