A friend shared an article on Facebook about The Disease of Being Busy
. It’s one that’s been around a few times – but also one that bears re-reading every time it comes.
A particular quote struck me as I read it late in March:
“In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?
What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.”
It reminded me of an early experience when I was first travelling in New Zealand – something that stuck with me, and something that made me want to live there. I noticed, very quickly, that people asked you how you were – and expected a proper answer. And if you asked them – you got one back. And so a conversation ensued, and two people who may not have known each other a few minutes ago became friends. Even if just for the duration of a bus ride, or the time it took them to put your shopping through the til.
And it made contemplate on how my heart was feeling. I missed friends and family. But I was also relishing my immediate family. Because we had taken a leap. We had grasped time. We took our time. We spent our time – wisely and in a new way.
On Wednesdays French schools is out – the children have a half day. One Wednesday in March we had an enormous crépe lunch and then walked it off by taking the route home on foot across the frozen lake. It took forever.
Walking across the frozen lake
We watched the dog sled. We found footprints. And more footprints. We stopped to look at things closely. When we finally got to the other side Daisy stepped to her thighs in an old snowdrift and got properly stuck. I didn’t rush to help but waited. I gave her time to figure it out for herself. She managed to get even more stuck. Isla went to dig her out. Somehow she got more stuck again and so I made my leisurely way to her and showed her what she’d done wrong (‘Jabbing at the snow around your stuck foot with a stick, darling? What do you think was happening there?!’)
We took time to stop and really look
Then they played by the wobbly bridge and paddled in the stream, failing to heed my warnings about going deeper than the rubber bits on their snow boots.
What’s not to love about a wobbly bridge?!
By the time we got home with soggy cold feet (not me!) it was just about tea time and Isla’s fresh-from-the-launderette clothes were filthy, their boots were soaked & we were all shattered.
“Well that was a bit of an adventure,” said Daisy.