Don’t hurry. Nothing good gets away.

“Don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens – The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.” –John Steinback

My daughter is utterly confused.  She’s planning a Bopeep ensemble for Halloween but also writing her nth letter to Santa. She’s been at it since September. Right when they kicked off the “ber” months with a Christmas song. It doesn’t help that time seems to be in a hurry.  I still date my checks with July realizing halfway through J that it is already October.  But with our help, the seasons are warped and bended, and now all stacked up against each other.

Why this obsession with immediate, accelerated, hurried time? Ours is a culture of fast forward play, fast food, same-day delivery, and TV series episodes you can watch in a day. We skim through entire articles and take snippets, rushing to get to the end. We hasten the sprouting of the seed, force the bud to blossom, ripen the fruit, just so we have mangoes in December.  Heck, we even hurry our children through childhood.  And every year, we heap up the seasons: Christmas before Halloween, dodge Advent entirely, and simultaneously deck the stores with witches on brooms and angels up high. We want all at the same time.  And we want it now.

The power of having everything so swiftly has made an adversary out of waiting. We can acquire almost everything at once, send out messages with a command, and even make a show of our lives “as it happens.” And because everything is fast-paced, we drive our lives on accelerated time too. I reckon we don’t know what to do about this new-found power of speed. As though we have just discovered fire and can’t stop playing with it.

We abhor waiting. Fear that we lose out by bidding time. We hate long lines or slow-moving traffic. We would even yield to an issue we were once passionate about, just because it is long winding and stretches out with no end in view.  We simply can’t linger. And so, we skip, hasten, and bolt to the next best thing.

“Except anything worthwhile takes a long time. –Debbie Millman” And we do miss out. We don’t get to see beginning credits; sacrifice the gradual blossoming of the fruit; forbid ourselves the giddiness of anticipation; and completely pass over entire seasons, milestones included.

I hate seeing witches promoted to a role in the Christmas tableau. Just as much as I hate biting into seemingly ripe fruit that tastes sour halfway.  Sometimes, we need stick around. Wait in line or savor the letters and words that arrive, pretending you’ve been waiting for weeks and months for the modern-day telegram.  Mark time from your window as buds turn to blossom every year.  Stop living at full tilt and be there as the seasons of your life unfold.  Allow time its leisurely pace and allow ourselves the giddiness of anticipation. Because really, nothing good should get away.

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