It takes a lot of slow to grow.
from “A Lazy Thought” by Eve Merriam
I first heard this line of poetry from Ruth Ayres. Since then, I have been intentional about carrying its message in my heart. I rested its message over the top of the layers of my life. Every now and then, a different layer surfaced and the s l o w was temporarily forgotten—even during the summer months, when the pace of the school year eases its grip on me.
It wasn’t until I arrived at dinner Wednesday night, before the All-Write Summer Institute that my understanding of these poetic words shifted. No longer, was s l o w i n g down an idea I carried with me. All of sudden, taking a lot of s l o w to grow became a sentiment I felt. I was living it.
From the moment I walked into the restaurant and stepped into a greeting hug from Mary Helen, I felt present in a way I haven’t felt for a long time. I knew I was with my people.
Dinner was just the beginning of three days of s l o w growth. I can say s l o w growth here, even though the time was much too short, because when you are truly present in a moment, it lasts longer, more of the essence of the moment has a chance to seep deeply into your bones.
Even though my exit was suddenly closed for construction Thursday morning causing me to start out the day 15 minutes behind, even though the fire alarm went off causing us to evacuate a mere half hour into Carl Anderson’s keynote address, even though I sat down on an auditorium seat that had flipped upright without me realizing causing me to fall flat on my behind, even though all of these things could have left a girl feeling flustered, instead I felt at ease.
There is something about being surrounded by people to whom I’ve revealed my inner thoughts—people from whom I’ve received encouragement and inspiration—that calms a person. There is something about being in the presence of wise women like these that comforts a person. There is something about the Two Writing Teachers community that sustains a person.
|a few of my people: Deb, me, Nanc, elsie, Ruth, Linda, and Bonnie|