Please slow down

Sometimes we move so fast that life just can’t keep up with us. Always running, faster, harder, to get to that next meeting, that next doctor’s appointment, to be there for our loved ones or to pick our children up from school. When can we ever find the time to just slow down?

Recently I was in a town in Queensland, Australia, called Eumundi. The picture that you see with this publication was taken as I entered the town. The town itself was like returning to the 1950’s. I don’t say that in a bad way but rather an affectionate way, for I’d jump in the car to go to Eumundi again tomorrow – if only I could find the time.

Time. Have you ever tried taking your watch off and judging the time by the sun? In days gone by that’s exactly what people would do. The only clock was the one in the Town Centre on the Clocktower. Otherwise, the sun would tell those of yore that it was time. Even today, I’m sure some of those we hold dear judge time the very same way. Take my dog, for instance.

Needless to say she knows when it’s time for breakfast ‘cos the sun’s up. She knows it’s time for a walk ‘cos breakfast is over. She knows it’s lunch-time ‘cos the sun is strong, and the shade in the backyard has moved ever so slightly. And, most importantly, she knows when it’s dinner-time, for the sun is getting ready to set. As it falls dark she knows the day is over and it’s time to rest.

But we keep moving at a hundred miles an hour, failing to take in the beauty of the day, the sunset’s rich colour, and the bay of sparkling water with moored boats that we pass on our way home from work. When did we get ahead of ourselves?

Does it make you wonder how we ever survived without those gadgets we use to divert our attention from impending boredom? Do you ever stop to think we seem to be heading in the direction of ‘losing time’ for ‘sitting and thinking’, as rare as it might be, has taken over from, well, just ‘sitting’. So we turn to our gadget. Each and every day when I try and find the time for a bite to eat, I walk up the street and see people walking toward me, head down, hand around their gadget, checking their latest text message, or looking at their latest photo sent from a friend they used to catch up with most weekends at the bar but now – yes, you guessed it – just don’t seem to be able to find the time for.

One time it so happened I was in a Shopping Centre and the girl walking near me was walking toward a water fountain, her head down attending to her gadget. She kept walking far enough that she fell right into that water fountain, her dress soaking wet, and another shopper bringing her shoes to her that had been floating around the other side. Luckily, no harm came to her that day. Nor did it come to the young man who tripped and fell on the sidewalk near the CBD because he was too busy texting to look up and face the day.

Every day I try and wake up, pull the curtains, look at the woman beside me, and then look out the window at the sun shining, as if to say; ‘Good morning’ and then I stare at the palm tree in the front yard and, to use a colloquial expression, thank my lucky stars for being a part of the day that lies ahead of me.

After all, we love our kids, we love our town – let’s slow down.

NB: First published on https://mytrendingstories.com/admin/publications/article/26423/ 

Old Sydney Town

Built from nothing but botany and earth

A harbour fore, deliverance be true.

Now the best there is, anywhere on earth

Harks of a persona harking back to you.

 

My family come from Melbourne, don’t you know?

The only one born and bred in town!

When we moved south I had no say at all –

A two-year old, in back seat, bears a frown.

 

On our return, my smile fast appeared –

Ahhh, the wattle, the humidity and sand.

A blow-up pool in our backyard of cheer

Was where you would find me and my fans.

 

As years past, Sydney grew to adulthood –

A child that had, now, come of age.

A life of love, forgiveness – yes, I could

Be that man standing on the players’ stage.

 

I sat there on the House’s stairs, watching them drink –

Vodka looked like water to the naked eye,

Donating funds for those left on the brink –

I fixed my eyes on the harbour’s night-time sky.

 

I looked from my balcony at night

And saw fireworks – New Year’s still far away –

A picture perfect backyard scene of light

That drew me nearer Southern Cross each day.

 

Old Sydney Town, I love you with my heart –

My family belong there with the Bridge.

I may move north for a brand new start

But you stay with me – in hindsight, you are it.

 

I missed you every day I was away,

Frustrated at decisiveness to move.

My mother brought me to your world to stay

And trickling water fountains would disprove

 

That Old Sydney Town left slow-coaches behind

Only one speed here – fast or you were dead

But your city’s splendour, elsewhere I couldn’t find –

Secluded beaches ‘round the foreshore’s sand I tread.

 

Under the Bridge I lay, gazing in her eyes

My hand pressed to her palm as we embraced.

Where else is there a park beneath constructed site?

Yet my main attraction was her suntanned face.

 

The caterpillar and the crane – far away

And the dust gave blue sky a dirty hue.

Please keep the beaches open – don’t betray

The places, splendid, we can all walk to.

 

Old Sydney Town, I love you now you’re grown

And the waning winter weather waits the sun.

Raise your head with pride at amalgamation’s show –

Out of many we live life as one.

Dance

Dance the dance that gives a chance

To come again before the end

Build the build that holds a choice

To feel, to fawn, via the voice

That speaks to you and speaks to me

As I look through glazed window to the sea

That trickles in reflected moon

A place I’ll tend to very soon

Before the store can empty, new

Be one of them, the very few

That sort out disorganised array

And drift so far, a world away

Before they stop and turn and come again

To touch, to tremble, now and then

‘Cos every heart beats faster still

When faced with someone that until

Just recently they never thought

The one true thing that they had sought

Would hold their hand in life’s romance

And walk the walk

And dance the dance.

The Cotton Dress

He slunked down to the ground

He saw a shadow, not his own

“Where have you been?”

She asked him with surprise.

 

“I’ve been here getting shade

From the baking morning sun.”

The park was empty

But for their huon cries.

 

“You left me,” she said, scolding him.

“You wanted time alone. Besides,

I wasn’t meant to be there

But by chance.”

 

“I’m not allowed up to your bedroom –

Remember what happened once before.

It was half past midday,

When she ended our romance…”

 

“But you left me,” she said a second time,

Forgetting what she really meant to say

Her sleeveless cotton dress

Was on her mind.

 

She flicked her brown hair past her shoulder

And tilting her head to one side

Her strap fell to her upper arm,

Beside.

 

He moved ever closer

Sitting on the grass under the tree

His eyes no longer shaded

In the sun

 

Had he ever stopped believing?

Was his mind attuned to hers?

Did he think she was, of all the girls,

The one?

 

The noonday sun was getting stronger

Than the morning ever had

They came to share the romance of a kiss

 

Not since first date memories

Parking by the lakeside in the night

Had he felt something, anything, like this.

 

May the cotton-dressed brunette

With hair waving in the breeze

Desirous, yearning, wanting him some more

 

Walk with him from the park

Their eyes set on the light, left on inside

Her apartment, near the pillow

By the window, past the door

 

He put his finger to his mouth

And told her so quietly to ‘shush’

They spoke a language known only

Ever, unto them.

 

They spoke a language, reminiscent

Of the first date they’d ever had

They were a blooming flower

Lightly watered, from the stem.

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