|"Cozy Cabin," by Judy Gibson|
The clocks went back an hour yesterday, meaning that we're once again on Slow Time. Many years ago, some folks in the midwest began calling Daylight Savings Time "Fast Time" and Standard Time "Slow Time," which I think is a marvelous and incredibly accurate description of both.
All day today I've felt like the day has been longer, and that I've accomplished more than I had in the rush of activities that comprised my days for the last several months. When the time changes over to Daylight Savings Time (Fast Time), for instance, I can often be heard muttering, "Holy s#it, I can't believe it's this late already," as I dash out the back door to bring in the wash from the clothesline at 7 p.m.
But all that's over now... at least for a few sweet months.
As a fitting crescendo of Fast Time craziness, the last few weeks have been a blur of activities for Big Ag and myself. We had a busy harvest season at the winery. We hosted two parties here, one a sit-down dinner for 14 and another a pot-luck for 40. And a charity I work part-time for had a big event I managed.
I also had three minor events happen to me in the last week -- small things, really -- which lowered my spirits and made me long for a few days to lick my wounds, deep house. First, I almost got my car towed on Halloween, through a mistake that truly was not my fault. Second, a weird friend started acting even weirder than usual. And lastly, my boss corrected a mistake I'd made at work in a way that stung, even though it was admittedly my own fault.
But when it's Fast Time, it can feel at times like there's no time to heal from the minor bumps and bruises of life, something which is best done away from everyone and the crazy social agendas we sometimes foist on ourselves (or have foisted on us). And for the record, it's not the major tragedies which I think account for the sadness and malaise modern living often inflicts upon us. It's the little things, over and over, which eventually just add up to feeling sad, frustrated, and feeling like you just can't catch a break (although not getting my car towed was a huge break, I realize).
I'm sure the Roman Empire did not end through one catastrophic tragedy, but rather through a slow erosion of fortunate circumstances. And so it is with our moods sometimes.
And so today, on this first day of Slow Time, I've found myself incredibly happy to be at home, deep in the comfort of the familiar, with no one to entertain, to make lively conversation with, or to answer to. Big Ag is napping in his chair, and the pellet stove is keeping us warm with its familiar clinking sound as the pellets fall into the hopper, giving us a cheery fire. The ground outside is wet from a good, soaking rain, and the so-called "civilized" world (generally not known for being particularly civil) feels far away.
Slow Time is good for listening to quiet music, good for reading, making casseroles, and good for getting home at 4 p.m., in order to feel tucked into warmth and comfort by the time the sun sets. There's nothing wrong with long nights spent in a comfortable chair with a good book or your Kindle, in my opinion. It's hugely under-rated activity by most folks, but not here at the homestead.
Even though there are still tomatoes and eggplant on the vines and more onions, lettuce and scallions to plant, that's OK. There's more than enough time to do these things in Slow Time and not feel rushed. The newly-ripe pomegranates will also get harvested in due time and there will be sweet, tart juice to brighten up the cooler days. There will be more rain, more darkness, and more time by the fire. And wine, of course.
It's Slow Time, once again. Hallelujah.