Floating on my back in the middle of the lake today, looking up at the sky and the clouds, the light, the dark, time seemed to stand still. It got me to thinking about the perception of time. Time is such a funny thing, there have been times in my life when it has slowed down, others when it seems to be trundling along at a rate of knots.
The years I lived on a narrowboat, in the main, time seemed to slow down to the pace of the waterways. It was a bit like stepping into a secret world, a world of the present but somewhat separate from it.
I used to always love passing under a motorway bridge on the boat, that odd feeling of seeing the fast world up above, so separate to the world of the canals, me at 4 mph, the world above at 70+. It once took me a week to get from Burton on Trent to just outside Coventry, a journey by road that would take about forty minutes. Green ribbons of water criss crossing the land, through tunnels, embankments and cuttings, gently flowing.
Work, life stuff, the call to a more conventional life took me away from this secret other world of the canals and rivers, but it is never far away, and I'm often called to this slower pace of life one way or another.
One thing is for sure, the busier I am, the faster time seems to go.
Life is busier, we work more, we have more, we are supposedly more productive, but to what cost?
Maybe there is a time to be on the motorway, getting from A to B in the quickest way possible, but maybe there is also a time to travel at a slower pace, to smell the clean air, to see the sunrises and sunsets, to witness the slower changes of the seasons, the wax and wane of the moon, to walk barefoot on grass, to feel our feet resting gently on this earth, knowing that of course we can't stay at this slower pace, there will be a time to speed up, but there is something so wonderful in knowing that there is a secret world, right under our own feet, a slower pace, a piece of solid ground, where we can slow down, where we can stop putting a monetary value on time and just experience it.
It is a challenge in our busy world, but it is possible, if only we take the time to slow it down from time to time.
If reading this has sparked something, let me know, how do you experience time?