In college, I had a roommate from Wyoming. I loved her to pieces, but when it came to walking, she was Slow with a capital S. I was a "city" girl, destination-bound, with a quickness in my step. I walked with purpose, to get there fast. She, on the other hand, bounced her way down the sidewalk, in part I think, to irritate me. It worked.
My daughter is just at the age where she loves stepping out for a walk down our quiet little street. Together, we shuffle across the uneven pavement and explore nature's toy box. Yesterday we watched the birds darting from tree to tree. We listened to water gurgling through the sewer. We pointed to big, fluffy clouds and cars passing by. We picked a few flowers (Don't tell the neighbors.) and fingered the veins on leaves. We stomped across a patch of rocks and giggled as they crunched under our toes.
It was a grand buffet for the senses.
Maybe the tortoise is onto something. For years, I'd thought that slow was synonymous with purposeless. These days, I'd argue that the opposite is true. Because when you hurry about, you miss stuff. Stuff that stirs your blood and awakens your soul. You know, if we walked at the pace of a child, we’d see so much more of the world.
Okay, Miss Wyoming, you were right. Want to go for a walk? You lead.