I’m a fast walker, and I think that says a lot about who I am. I have places to be and no time to waste. I cut across the grass and jaywalk when the light’s still yellow. I end up at the front of the group, whether I know where we’re going or not. I have one speed - fast - and I roll my eyes at anyone who slows me down. I even struggled to adjust to the deliberate pace down the aisle at my best friend’s wedding. I forget my life is more than a series of quick pit stops and brief five-minute breaks to catch my breath.
But today, on a whim, I took a slow walk to nowhere in particular. I left my phone and didn’t even bring something to write with. I meandered in the direction of the neighborhood park, thoughts buzzing with noisy commitments and screeching to-dos but eventually fading to a calmer drone. Reaching a swing set, I pointed my toes to the sky in mindless motion as I watched the day fade away.
On my way back, I saw some kids playing in their yard and wondered if they knew they’d look back on this very moment or a blurry series of moments with nostalgia so sticky-sweet it’s almost nauseating. I wondered if I’d do the same to my current moment and if I would remember the way the trees smelled on an unusually warm afternoon in February 2016. I wondered if one day I’d become the oblivious old lady holding up the crowd with my shuffling, wishing I had slowed my steps before I ran out forever.