Tuesday, June 03, 2008

To See Takes Time

I have been warring within myself over whether or not I "should" be taking the time to do a walk-about each day. To really do it justice, I need to spend about 90 minutes, give or take a half hour.

This isn't exercise, because I move much too slowly. "Saunter and pause, saunter and stop, stand still while watching, saunter again" is a relatively accurate description of my pace on these jaunts.

My purpose, besides getting outside, is two-fold: 1) to see what's happening in our yard, and 2) to exercise Becker (whose pace is more like "run and sniff, jog and sniff some more, lie down in the shade if she's being stupid and stopping in the sun, get up and run again to catch up").

Ninety minutes a day is a chunk of time. It seems almost sinful to spend that amount of time without making money or cleaning the house or paying bills or, at least, toning my body.

However, I ran across a quote from Georgia O'Keeffe recently that makes me feel better about my choice to use my time this way, "Nobody sees a flower, really, it is so small. We haven't time - and to see takes time like to have a friend takes time."

"...[T]o see takes time like to have a friend takes time." She's right. It takes time for me to go slowly through our yard, looking, ready to see new events or animals or serendipitous moments, photographing some of them to share with others. And it takes time to really be a friend, too. Time to talk on the phone, meet for lunch, help in an emergency, get together to shop, visit after you've moved apart from each other.

None of which makes money or advances careers or cleans the house, but all of which sure enrich my life.

There's more to a rich life than money. I have to remind myself of that over and over again, with the pressure of our culture sounding the constant refrain to "make money, spend money, show off your wealth, then you'll be happy." I know that's a lie, but a lie repeated often enough becomes perceived as the truth, to rephrase a quote that some other famous person made.

So now I'll arm myself with O'Keeffe's quote and, when the pressure to "be more productive" with my time starts eating at me, I'll quietly repeat its wisdom to myself...as I call to Becker and we start on our daily walk-about.


marcyincny said...

Here in upstate NY I always feel the growing season is so short, the birds fledge so quickly, flowers suddenly fade prematurely in a hot, dry spell... Attention must be paid, no?

Gaia gardener said...

The growing season is probably longer here than where you live, but it seems to pass more quickly each year.

Maybe I just notice more now than I did when I was younger.