This little guy, creeping through Kasugai Garden, sent a very powerful message to me and Thing 2, during a visit earlier this week: Slow down. And pay attention to the journey.
So much is said these days about slow living, and yet we continue to live our lives at duple metre speed.We squeeze in more and get through it all faster only to do it again and again until we (or at least I) realize we’re flying through life without ever taking the time to appreciate or process the whirlwind of memories we leave in our wake.
So I took the time to teach Thing 2 – and remind myself – to do just that. In addition to going over the obvious rules of the garden (stay off the grass, stay on the footpath, don’t throw pebbles at the koi), we talked about some important lessons to help enhance our enjoyment of a pretty place of respite like Kasugai Garden (located between Queensway and Doyle Avenue, Water Street and Ellis Street, downtown in Kelowna, in case you care to visit). Here are some of the ones we covered. I’d love to hear any additions you might have.
1. Move more slowly. Walk, don’t run, spin, or cartwheel your way around. Save that for the playground, park or nature trails.
2. Smell the flowers, but leave them where you found them, for others to enjoy.
3. Turn off your devices. You know the ones, yes you do. Smart phones, tablets or whatever other distraction (technological or otherwise) you might carry about with you. Live in the moment.
4. Lower your voice.
5. Breathe. Deeply.
6. Sit still, and listen. Count how many distinctive sounds you hear in a set time limit.
7. Look with your eyes, not with your hands. There are many wonderful textures to experience, but not everything needs to be physically felt in order to be appreciated.
8. That said, some things just need to be touched. This little water fountain (we were told by the security guard that it is, indeed, safe to drink from) could not be ignored when it called out to be interacted with.
9. Look up. You never know what delights you might discover by looking above eye-level (the same could be said about looking down, as that little snail demonstrated!).
10. Smile. Inside, and out.