A few days ago I was driving in the Dandenong Ranges when I came up behind a truck travelling very slowly up the winding road. There was no opportunity to pass the truck for about 15 minutes.
You can imagine I’m sure, as most drivers have had this very same situation of not being able to pass a truck or slow vehicle at one time or another, when all you want to do is drive at the speed limit (which was 60kph) and get to your destination as quickly as possible.
The road is one I drive often and I thought I was quite familiar with the surrounds, although having no choice but to drive at 20kph I found myself noticing things around me that I had not noticed in the past.
The late afternoon glow of the sun was drenching the tall gum trees and showing the beautiful colours where the bark was pealing downward. There were Autumn leaves in beautiful and varying shades and sizes, many flowers in pinks and purples and reds, there were restaurants and homes with smoke billowing from chimneys and lingering in the cold air. There had been a shower of rain so the bitumen came to life reflecting the late afternoon light instead of being a flat black mass. I noticed the light sparkling on leaves big, flat and shiny, some, tiny and twinkling, and some just seemed to sparkle and dance in the breeze and light. It was as if the forest became alive and was sparkling with freedom and life. It was like a wonderland.
Even though the car windows were up, I could smell the fresh cool air creeping in. It was beautiful and refreshing with the distinct smell of damp eucalypts, damp soil and the heady perfume of many flowers all mixed together. I enjoyed this and the smell took me immediately back to my childhood as smells can do.d
All of this and more led me to thinking of how I usually drove along this road watching the clock and the speedometer more than taking in the view around me. It occurred to me that driving so slowly for about 15 minutes allowed me to observe more than I had ever noticed along this road in the past.
Then my thoughts moved to wondering how life would be if we lived it a little slower. I am the first to love doing more and getting on with life for the most part with some urgency, although slowing down in this instance was wonderful.
How often do you get caught up in life in the fast lane, or living each day on automatic and not noticing the beauty around you?
What if you took things more slowly, walked on your daily walk in the opposite direction, took a different road or a different path? What might you see or hear, or feel or smell, simply by making a change? What might you experience that you would not have if you had followed the very same habits or routine each day?
Sometimes it can take very little effort to change what you do each day and you may notice something that is waiting to be discovered, or something that gives you a feeling of renewed life and fulfillment.