Slow down, you move too fast.

This morning I went to gas up the car then stop by the grocery. “They may not have what we want but I’m sure we can find something useful,” I told my son.

What I noticed as we ambled up and down the aisles was that folks for the most part had settled down. They were calm and courteous. Shelves were empty, there were no paper products or cleaning wipes, no frozen veggies or ground beef. Plenty of milk, though, and eggs and cheese. Gone was the frantic energy of a few days ago. I thanked the cashier for being there and she appreciated the acknowledgement.

When we got home, I offered to take a walk with my son. He joined me for a bit, running sprints ahead of me, then made his way back to our yard, sitting across the driveway from his pal Andrew, as they connected across at least 6 feet of space. Somehow they had managed to make peace at last with “no playdates until Coronavirus is over,” instead finding a way to be together. “Social distancing” may have put physical distance between them, but it did not put the kabosh on much needed together time.

As I continued to walk up and down the street, taking in the sunshine, the lyrics from Simon and Garfunkel’s 59th Street Bridge song came to me. My mood recalibrated. I felt a sense of peace and promise that we can do this thing. God will bring good out of this pandemic. Good in countless acts of kindness, selflessness and consideration for others. In practicing kindness to ourselves. This is not a time to be productive in the way the world measures productivity. It is a time to be in the moment, to take in the beauty of the world.

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da, feeling groovy

Hello lamppost, what’cha knowing
I’ve come to watch your flowers growin’
Ain’t you got no rhymes for me?
Doo-ait-n-doo-doo, feeling groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da, feeling groovy

I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I’m dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morningtime drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy

About Mother Beth Tjoflat

Episcopal priest, urban contemplative, playwright, lover of hounds, American of Chilean-Norwegian-Moravian descent. Interests include transformational ministry with the forgotten and marginalized; church planting and congregational development; 12-step spirituality; Hispanic ministry; radical hospitality, and spending time with dear friends.
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