Martin Van Buren

In the last three days, I have driven 1,503 miles away from Portland.  Martin Van Buren (my van) is amazing.  It feels so satisfying to park, turn in my chair and walk to the back of the van, make a sandwich, take a nap and then walk up to the front, turn the engine over and take off.  Martin Van Buren is already teaching me so much.  He is already teaching me to slow down, settle and take my time.  Life typically is jam-packed and go, go, go. I love being social, busy and on the move.  But I started to recognize more of a frenetic energy that hung about.

The speed limit in Montana today was 80MPH.  I don’t know why, but if I see a speed limit I always add five as a grace zone that would allow me to go a bit faster.  That means Martin cookin’ down the freeway going 85MPH!  He can do it and happily obeyed my heavy foot, but I started to realize even though he can do it he doesn’t like to.  He still likes to go fast (I think 72MPH is his golden speed), but feels better and healthier if he just slows a little. However, this has taught me that just because I can go faster doesn’t mean that I always have to.  One of my favorite song lyrics is “the faster I move, the slower I go” and I’m realizing this more and more each day.  I can move fast, be happy, get everything done, but I may not be able to settle as deeply into a connection with a friend.  Or I may miss the opportunity to process life’s happenings because I don’t allow myself a moment to sit in quiet.  Or I look at the lovely hydrangeas and think I should take a picture, but feel as though I don’t have the time and I’ll do it tomorrow.  However, I wake to crispy petals that baked in the hot sun since my busy brain forgot to water them.  Or I miss the beauty and quietness of the morning with gratitude for waking another day because I awake to preloaded, ready-made stress from to-do lists and the pressure of productivity.

I like to be on the move.  I like to be active, exercising, socializing, traveling.  I feel like these are the things I love in life, but I am learning that I can still do all of this but with more intent and purpose the slower I go.  I may not go 85MPH, but I can still go 72MPH and get there just a little later, but with much more detail, love and experience.

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