Why are we chasing our tails?

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Outside the early morning world looks and feels soft. A few leaves float slowly to the ground joining the brown carpet that grows thicker each day.

As the light filters through the trees, shadows paint pictures on the ground that dance when a breeze stirs the branches. The only sounds I hear are the gentle trickle of the fountain outside my window and the birds calling to each other from deep in the woods.

It is a peaceful start to the day and I linger enjoying the experience. I love fall mornings when the air is cooler and the day is new. There is promise in these beginning hours, an invitation from the divine to create whatever I desire in the hours ahead of me.

Most days I find a few minutes to simply sit and appreciate before I rush into living, and there is always something to appreciate. Today it is the light of morning unfolding around me. Another day it may be the sound of rain or the sight of my cat sleeping on the porch.

The older I get, the more I want to slow down and find time to just breathe and notice life. That is not always an easy thing to do in a world that thrives on instant everything from text messages to knowing the latest news as it is happening.

While I like the convenience of the technological gadgets and gizmos, sometimes it all gets a bit overwhelming and I feel a little like life is spinning out of control. At those times, I question what it is we are rushing toward at such a breakneck speed.

I wonder if I am the only one who feels this way or if there are a lot of others who are also questioning the wisdom of racing through our days. Are there a lot of us wondering how to step off the merry-go-round for at least a few minutes?

Now some may say that I am a bit of a Pollyanna and that living is about doing and acting and planning. Stopping to take in the smell of the rose or the feel of the breeze is not what will get you ahead.

I hear that worry is part of the package of being alive, that striving and stress are givens in the 201l world. Multi-tasking and having more on your plate to do than you can eat in a day are sure signs of success, and busy seems to be how most everybody describes life.

Some folks might say I am out of touch with reality because I am not in the day-to-day, 8-to-5 working world anymore. Maybe they are right; perhaps I’d think differently if I still lived on deadlines and too much coffee.

I don’t know how I’d feel if the circumstances of my life were not what they are today. All I know is that from my slightly removed-from-the-rat-race vantage point, it seems our society, me included at times, is a little like a dog chasing its tail, without enjoying it the way the dog seems to enjoy it.

I certainly don’t claim to have the answers or to know what works for anyone other than me. All I know is that what works for me on this day is experiencing the wonder of a soft fall morning, and taking a few minutes to appreciate the simple gift of breathing and being alive.