A second way in which we can slow down time is by making a conscious effort to be ‘mindful’ of our experience. There are some people who seem to be as affected by familiarity than others, and see the world with something of the fresh, first-time vision of children all through their lives. These are the kind of people – sometimes seen as eccentrics by those around them – who often begin sentences with phrases like ‘Isn’t it strange that…?’ or ‘Have you ever wondered…?’ They’re the kind of people who might stop in the street to gaze up at a beautiful scene of the sun breaking through clouds or a silver moon above the rooftops; or they might stare intently at the sea, at flowers or at animals, as if they’ve never seen them before. Poets and artists often have this kind of ‘child-like’ vision – in fact it’s this that usually provides the inspiration for their work. They often have a sense of strangeness and wonder about things which most of us take for granted, and feel a need to capture and frame their more intense perceptions. The Speed of Life: Why Time Seems to Speed Up and How to Slow it DownWe are clearing an area of land for the greenhouse and the garden. It's a large parcel I'm hoping we'll fence in as part of the winter farrowing area for the Large Black Hogs come autumn. Our entire family is out in the snow and the sunshine, my husband cutting down trees, the kids and I dragging branches to the brush pile and stacking the logs for splitting into firewood for the next winter season. My lungs fill with the fragrant scent of pinon and juniper. It feels good to be here together, the four of us.
My breath hangs in white clouds in the frigid air and dissipates like the veil of thoughts I've been swaddled in without even knowing it, until I come to myself here once again on this same piece of land I've been tromping about for years now. The same pine covered mesa with its back humped up against the sky. The same curl of smoke coming out of the chimney from our ranch house. Pecos mountains the same blue gray purple red slate gray emerald ochre. The same sun making his way in what seems an increasingly breathless race over the mesa top, so fast I can't seem to keep up any longer.
I bend down to pick up a fresh cut juniper log, and find myself examining the snow encrusted bark, while the rest of my family is working industriously around me, shaking off the sleepiness of a lazy morning by the wood burning stove. I'm turning it over in my insulated gloves to catch what's left of the solar rays in frozen silver shards when the chainsaw chews up the silence in a single high pitched whine and my hands are suddenly filled with every shape and size of diamond.
The alchemy of snow and sunshine.