I never thought I would pursue slowness. As a (mostly) high-energy Gemini prone to chasing curiosity, my appetite for novelty can feel insatiable. In the ‘before’ times, the prospect of an empty afternoon, let alone an entire weekend, would knot my stomach. I would feel, acutely, time passing, and the guilt of not having anything to show for it.
I am realizing that this is a form of grasping (what the Niyama of aparigraha, or non-attachment, cautions us against). This could be wanting what isn’t mine, whether it’s control, obligation, or understanding; yearning for experiences that always feel just out of reach; clinging to moments whose sharp beauty comes from their ephemerality.
I have been sensing an internal shift since I landed in this frustratingly quiet but achingly beautiful place: I move as much as ever, but don’t pack my days like I used to, a mug full to the brim, always threatening to spill. I leave space to be completed, letting in textures, sounds, colours.
Lately, on days that are emptier than I would like, I pause to admire the way that nearly-bare boughs lean into each other, caught in conversation. I quiet my podcast to hear soft voices of neighbours, filtered from the last hardy greens of front gardens. I linger at the fruit stand, breathing in the sweet-musky smell of apples, choosing an orange-flecked kabocha squash to roast for dinner. Home, warming my hands by the oven, I watch the steam rising, listen to the slow crackle of fibres breaking down, inhale the caramelization.
If I have learned anything in this lingering twilight, it is to welcome slowness: in pace, thoughts, expectations.
There is care in slowness, in seeing things through, rather than leaving a mess of threads in one’s wake. There is nourishment in building routines, no matter how trivial they seem, in finding moments of resolution on the shifting grounds we’re experiencing. There is satisfaction in putting tangled thoughts to rest, knowing that there will be a string of tomorrows to revisit them.