This reminder came to me in earnest on Saturday, but it has been circling for weeks: “Be gentle.”
I saw it at a nearby thrift store while we shopped for a table lamp. The message stopped me in my tracks, the words scrawled in loopy handwriting with a blue grease pencil on this beautiful little dressing mirror, a pink vintage treasure, chalky to the touch and no doubt filled with memories.
“Be Gentle,” the message pleads with passersby to not crash past and damage this.
I had been hearing and feeling this all month in lots of different ways, but I just kept crashing through every day.
Do you remember in that Jim Carrey movie Bruce Almighty when the silent homeless man holds so many cardboard signs, yet he goes largely unnoticed until finally the messages are unmistakably aimed at the main character? Ok. You’re with me now for sure.
Be Gentle, lady. Ease up.
It’s all okay.
Soften a little, breathe more deeply.
Touch everything more lightly.
Speak and think more slowly.
like it’s a verb as much as an adjective.
Move into more delicacy.
I have a tendency to crash through my days with a weird sort of desperation, trying not to miss a thing, trying not to waste a drop of time or energy. Everything is so beautiful and I really do love my life so much, even the difficult parts. I’m learning to appreciate that particular sort of growth.
It’s all a positive panic, but still a panic. And too often that results in spreading my attention (my awareness) so thinly that I only manage to glance at my surroundings and opportunities. I miss out on the deep, nourishing soak that I crave. And that means that my people and animals and home and community miss out on my undivided attention.
I move (and speak and think) so quickly that I become rough and handle breakable things carelessly. Things like dishes and garden tools and books and even relationships.
When my grandpa was alive he would have said, “Settle, settle.” He would have hushed me lovingly, his tan and wrinkled hand parallel to the ground, pulsing steadily. He would have done so with a smile and maybe some soft laughter.
Some gentleness is in order. Some stillness and attention.
I definitely trust God enough to pause and take a deep breath. Choose to see and affirm that He is in control and that I can afford to slow down.
Okay, this is precisely the motivation I needed today, friends. Kind of the opposite of how I usually revv my engines on Monday morning, ha! I hope it finds you in a state of bliss or inspiration or at least poised for exactly what your soul needs most.
Just a few days left of this fine transition month. I am so excited to see what November brings. But I will reign myself a little bit, gently, so it all comes more slowly. One glittering moment at a time.
Slow Down, You Move Too Fast.
You Got to Make the Morning Last
~Simon & Garfunkel