Slow Down

Posted by on Jul 25, 2012 in Breathe, Recent Posts | 10 comments

Slow Down

I sat on the deck last night and looked west. The sun was casting long rays across the garden lighting up the rain droplets on the butternut squash. The chickens were eating the cabbage worms from the cabbage leaves I spread out for them, and the kids were running around down by the creek. I could hear whoops and screeches as they played with the neighbor kids. The crickets were humming and the birds singing. We just ate dinner on the deck, the dishes still on the table, with pieces of cucumber salad, cabbage and pork stew, mashed new potatoes—the garden is feeding us.

I looked at Karl and said “This is my favorite time of year.” Though, I may say that again in fall and winter and spring. Those moments when everything is at it’s peak of the season, and I know it, those are the moments I love. I love the slowing down: hanging clothes on the line and watching it rain on them for two days, the way the chickens know exactly when it’s time to go in.

I’ve had a stream of connections with old friends lately. It feels good. We moved to a new town two years ago, and I am in love with it. I love the community and friendships we are developing. I love the hills and trees. I love the farms and music. But, having my old friend, Ellen (from my Freshman year in college), visit last weekend gave me something I’ve been missing. I was fumbling for the word to describe what her visit did for me. I was remembering  a recent article about the regrets of the dying, and one regret was losing touch with old friends. “There’s something having you here gives me, after exploring all this newness, something steady and deep. It gives my life—”

“—continuity.” She finished my sentence, like an old friend can. “The work is done, we can enjoy each other.” Yes! That’s it. The acceptance for another that develops over time—when we stick with and make the effort to stay in touch with our friends, is a deep delight, a slowing down.

There’s more where that came from! I am preparing to host another old friend, Janet, who helped us open New Day Cafe, who knows me amidst the elation of opening and the despair of losing it all. She’s the one who took the kids for the night without my asking, who bought a vacuum cleaner because we needed one, who gave whatever she had to help us through. Reconnecting with this friend, this time, will give my life even more “–continuity.”


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  1. You just gave me that sense of continuity.

    • That makes me happy, Karen. So much love, Hari

  2. I’m so grateful for the continuity of our friendship. Even though our lives change in sometimes dramatic ways, our hearts still connect, old familiar friends that they are. Love you.

    • Yes. So true, my friend. I, too, am grateful.

  3. Your friend Ellen is so right. (You know I am so tickled to be back in touch with you.) But what I want to share with you now is that I had a long lunch yesterday with my best friend from college; we met when I was a sophomore and she was a freshman. Although we live relatively close, we’ve been unable to get together because of so many life events. We just stepped right back into that comfort zone and caught up on the important things. We are now different in many ways…but we have that history.

    Have a great weekend! Much love, Becky

    • I was thinking of you and our recent reconnection as I wrote about Ellen’s visit. Many old friends returning to me now, and for that I am sooo grateful. It’s a way of reconnecting with who we once were.
      Love you!

  4. Hello 🙂
    I just wanted to introduce myself and let you know I appreciate what you and your family are doing. We are doing something fairly similar, also with kids, and with all the negative comments coming our way, it’s nice to know we’re not the only ones. Keep up the good work!

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for introducing yourself! The lessons we’ve learned from our big downsize and the comments we’ve gotten through the process has only added to our resolve. We are so much happier with less, and living without a mortgage is freedom! You are doing what is right for your family: no one else has to live your life! I wrote a response to online negativity here: . I felt better after writing it. I ultimately know that those comments and thoughts are always out there, but they are none of my business.–I “just don’t belong there.’ (my friend, Amy, shared that thought). Be well! This is very exciting!

  5. Can’t wait to see you!

    • Thanks, old friend. I can’t wait to celebrate the life of New Day Cafe with you and the gang.