What do you miss in your hurry?

Published 12:23 am Saturday, March 5, 2016

When I look back on my working years, I remember I was always in a hurry. In the mornings, I slept as long as I could. Because of that, I had to rush to fix breakfast, rush to clear the table, then hurry and get dressed. Once I was in the car on my way to work, my brain still hurried—my head buzzed with plans for that day and maybe even the week in advance.

Then one morning as I drove, something caught my eye. Perched on the limb of a tree bare of its leaves, sat an owl. I caught my breath in awe. I had seldom seen such a bird in wide-open splendor. Somehow, that glimpse of nature changed my attitude toward the new day I faced. I lost the “to-do” list clutter I was compiling in my head as I continued on my way.

Suddenly my mind and eyes were open to God’s wonders in my surroundings. There some were along the roadside—daffodils in a circle in someone’s yard, tender green leaves shooting from bushes and camellias shouting their beauty. I was enthralled when I noticed the blooms of Japanese magnolia trees protruding from the limbs. I asked myself how could I have driven by in past days unaware of that beauty?

My thoughts returned to our own back yard where my husband and I enjoyed the antics of squirrels and chipmunks as they consumed the birdseed scattered on the patio. I chuckled at thoughts of the feisty little chippies as they filled their jaws and raced to their burrows. I knew that it was only a matter of minutes before they returned for more. After taking a little time to watch them, you could figure out their route from the patio to the burrow, and then back to refuel. Out in the bushes we often spied birds called towhees. They scratched like chickens. What a pleasure it is to watch God’s creatures. Do we take them for granted or get in such a hurry we are unaware of them? Do we pause to thank God for these simple yet everyday joys of nature?

One of the most frustrating times when you are in a hurry is finding yourself in a checkout line. Can you keep an open mind when the person in front of you drops a fist full of coupons on the counter when she checks out? Or when somebody suddenly has to rush back to pick up a forgotten item, holding everyone up? Or what about that little old lady who takes time to fumble around in her purse for the correct change? These days, especially, I remind myself to be patient. (Some days, I might be that “little old lady.”)

Even amidst all the hurry, hurry, hurry our modern world presses on us, we need to be aware and give ourselves time to enjoy our surroundings. Let’s stop hurrying!


Nina Keenam is retired from the newspaper business. Her column appears on Saturdays.