“When anybody asks, 'What are you writing about now?' if I try to reply, the book-in-the-works sounds so idiotic to me that I think, 'Why am I trying to write that puerile junk?' So now I give up; if I could talk about it, I wouldn't have to write it."
- Madeleine L'Engle, A Circle of Quiet


Seeking A Slower Rhythm

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

In response to Scribbit's January Write-Away Contest - Topic: "The Great Escape"

There is a conversation in the movie, Kate and Leopold, that always makes me a little sad. Leopold and Kate are standing on a bridge and she asks if he misses where he comes from. He (being from the year 1876) replies, “I miss it’s rhythm.”
“It was slower?” Kate asks.

“Quite a bit slower.”

I can relate. I long for the slower rhythm of years past. 1876 was, of course, long before my time, but I can remember 1976, and even then the pace of the world seemed slower. Maybe it’s because I discarded the placidity of childhood in exchange for the responsibilities of an adult. Or maybe it’s because I moved from a small city in South Dakota to a larger city with multiple freeways; skyscrapers; mass public transportation; and thousands of corporations, every one with their own time-tables and deadlines, and employees rushing here and there to meet them.

For years, I’ve been seeking an escape from the rat race, a way to slow down. Full-time home-making was a wonderful gig when we could afford it, but so far our financial situation has always demanded that I return to work. So back I go, into the hustle and bustle of people, all with their own agendas and their own reasons for working; some trying to get ahead and others just trying to pay the rent.

But escaping the corporate work-force, my husband and I have found, is not the only way to rid oneself of the fast-paced world in which we have lived for many years. Just two months ago, we finally left the big city behind, along with its many distractions, some pleasant and some...not so pleasant, and moved to a home in the country. We live only three miles from a small town where we can find a few conveniences. My husband still has to drive to the city for work, but we dream of his being able to work from home someday so he can escape even that.

We have willingly abandoned fancy restaurants, abundant cuisine choices, 24-hour gas stations, mega-bookstores, and mega-malls. Unfortunately, we have also given up close proximity to many of our friends and family, but we have gained things that the city can never give: tranquility, quietness, privacy, space. There are no sirens blaring throughout the day and night, no booming sub-woofers rattling our windows at midnight, no shouting matches down the street. My husband’s drive to work now consists of miles upon miles of pastoral vistas as opposed to his former drive of fewer miles sitting on crowded highways among thousands of cars pumping out noxious exhaust fumes.

It’s an exchange; one we are more than willing to make. We are still in the process of escaping a hectic lifestyle, but our sweet little home in the country has brought us one step closer to our goal: a peaceful life with a slower rhythm.

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At 1/16/2008 2:37 PM, Blogger Scribbit wrote:

The slower pace you describe is so appealing. It can be so hard to escape the daily grind of the city but it sounds so worth it.

At 1/17/2008 9:20 AM, Blogger Changes in the wind wrote:

You go girl!!!The hardest part is to KNOW what you want because as you point our there are things that you have to give up either way. I think I want both:):)

At 1/23/2008 6:52 PM, Blogger Daisy wrote:

Tranquility, peace. It's worth the cost and time of a country commute.

At 1/27/2008 9:11 PM, Blogger HolyMama! wrote:

i love how you described this change. you sound very much at home now. i'm so glad to hear that - for so long it wasn't that way. you were anticipating and planning and now you sound wonderfully, truly, at home. yea!


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