Happy Summer!  I know, I know, I’ve been away a long time. Many have asked where I’ve been?  I’ve been here, just really busy etc.. Blah, blah, blah. Yada, yada, yada. Whatever. But I’m back!  With some new, shorter (!) pieces, I’m calling, “Summer Shorts.”

I will try to write one a day but let’s not count on that, ok?  Don’t hold me to it.  It’s summer and there is lots of nothing that need to get done and if not by me, than who?

Without further adieu, here is the first Summer Short.  Speaking of being busy….

Summer Short 1

It’s summer. Although I looked forward to sleeping in all school year, the habit of rising early has taken its hold and I still rise before dawn. I make my coffee and head to my screened-in porch. Heaven is a screened-in porch. If you have one, you know. I watch the sun rise over the trees in my backyard and the day seems endless and free. There is nothing I need to really do. Nowhere I really need to be. I just want to linger…linger…linger….

As I head back in for a second cup, I notice some mail I need to sort on the counter. Some bills probably need to get paid. Might as well do that now. Get it off my mind. I head to the office and my computer. I should get this done quick. Except…a headline catches my eye. Another shooting. I click. I read. I conclude: maybe we should just keep the flags at half mast permanently?

Back to the kitchen, that didn’t take too long, I could sit back down and write or read on the porch while eating breakfast before the morning gets away from me. But I need a bowl for my oatmeal. As I empty the dishwasher for a clean bowl, I notice some overripe bananas that I will have to throw away unless I make banana muffins today. The kids would love those for breakfast. I start mashing and breaking the last of the eggs left. Probably should head to the store after my shower since I’m now out of eggs. Need something for dinner too. I catch a glimpse of the clock as I check the timer for the muffins, it’s nearly 10:30. Better hurry if I want to shower and get to the store before it gets too crowded.

The timer goes off. I stop writing my grocery list and laugh at myself. I’ve been up for 4 hours and I so easily fell into being a slave to a schedule I just created for myself. None of things needed to get done right now. This morning. Our whole lives can be lived like this if we aren’t careful. Busying them right away. Never learning how to linger.

Living in the world today, we are seduced into the value of doing rather than being. Been there, done that. And of course, post it. But we pay a high price for this behavior, one many of us don’t even realize we are paying. By placing a sliver of distance between us and everything we meet, our days become disheartened, our world dulled, our lives blur on by. A sense of urgency is a terrible illusion.

The truth is blurring by something is not the same as experiencing it. Scrolling through other’s lives is not the same as making genuine connections. It takes thoughtfulness to slow down. It takes courage to remove the sliver of distance we carry around our necks but the reward is a world that is alive to us and not dead. A life that is experienced and not just lived. Being alive takes time.

I pop a mini banana muffin in my mouth and head back to the porch.  Feelin’ groovy.