It was just as well there are lots of bends in the road going down the Teesdale Valley, Co. Durham. I’ve been watching out for a densely populated field of buttercups to photograph for this website. Slowing down for bends gave me the opportunity to be able to safely glance over the walls to see what I could find. Out of the corner of my eye I caught a glimpse of the perfect field of buttercups. So I stopped, nipped over the road, climbed onto the wall and took a few snaps. It was probably not the safest place to stop, just before a bend, however given the near absence of traffic I decided it was ok to pull over – briefly. The field of buttercups you now see around the edge of the page is in Teesdale, just over the wall to the right in this photograph.
It is all too easy, for me, to get into the car and make a journey without stopping to take in the view, take a break, have a snack. Even calls of nature can be put off for several hours if I am intent on getting to a destination. Especially so if I’ve committed to being there at a pre-arranged time. I put my hand up to being one who pushes on when it would be better to slow down and stop. Applying the breaks gradually is so important, finding a safe and secure stopping place essential. As with car journeys, so with life.
Slowing down and coming to a halt during one’s day, week or life can occur because of health reasons, family pressures and the like or simple because of a call to smell the roses or the need to take stock. That’s to assess priorities and in the religious sphere to withdraw within, to retreat. Within a day or week there are longer and shorter moments of repose however the imperative to get back at it, as my teacher would say, has us quickly back on our feet. This is the way it is and really there is not a problem in answering the call to action. To be unstinting in one’s giving. It seems like there might be a paradox here, however I believe that not to be the case. It is a matter of living a life deeply committed to that which is greater than our small and self-limiting ideas about ourselves.
Taking my own advice to heart I will be pulling over and sitting down for a couple of weeks starting 11th June.