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A Time to be Slow

There is a time and season for everything. There is a time when life demands speed—deadlines to make, schedules to keep, and appointments to meet. There is a time to be slow—reading bedtime stories to your children, a conversation with your spouse about the day, and a vacation where soft-sanded beaches and frilly blended drinks run plentiful.

Our culture tends to be experts on speed, but when it comes to slowing down we need much practice. My natural speed is fast. I get a thrill when I multi-task. It pains me to watch my young son take what feels like fifteen minutes to put on his jacket and shoes as I watch the clock tick on. I frantically push him along, creating tension that really doesn’t need to exist. Something inside of me naturally wants everything in life to move quickly.

There is great beauty in slow. In his book, In Praise of Slow, Carl Honore writes, “Slow is calm, careful, receptive, still, intuitive, unhurried, patient, reflective, quality-over-quantity. It is about making real and meaningful connections – with people, culture, work, food, everything.” Doesn’t that sound incredible?

There is so much to learn in the presence of being slow that can be easily overlooked when we’re moving too fast.

For me, being slow is a conscious decision. When feeling the desire to speed up I have to ask myself, “Is this a time I need to be fast?” If not, I breathe deeply and rethink how I’m approaching the situation.

This is true in the kitchen too—especially in the kitchen. Weeknight meals are often quick, simple, and prepared in the presence of three hungry children pushing me to hurry up. But it is in the process of slowly preparing a meal that I’m reminded of why I love food and cooking so much. I take the time to smell the fresh ingredients, enjoy the process of dicing a pungent onion, and joyfully stirring the pot as the flavors fully develop in the presence of much time.

There is a time to be slow—probably more time than we allow. Find time for slow, its company will reward you.

by Ashley Rodriguez