Over Memorial Day weekend, we stayed at a guesthouse in Leicester, NC. The house was solar powered, completely off the grid. Its water came from a spring-fed creek, delivered by gravity. With a propane stove and refrigerator, all our needs were met. A house garden offered flowers, lettuce, and sugar snap peas. It promised a bounteous harvest for visitors later in summer. A walk around the farm pond provoked a series of croaks and frog-splashes. Pockets of tadpoles hovered by the shore. We visited a farm nearby and witnessed “Mrs. Moo” being milked by hand. We ate homemade ice cream churned on the grounds.
The house itself, made of reclaimed materials, was warm and wooden, with ample comforts, books and board games and art supplies. Two mountain trails began at the property. A step onto the back porch after dark revealed at least two billion more stars than are visible in Gwinnett.
The thing that struck me most was the change of pace. Time lost its meaning. In fact, the battery-powered clock had not been reset for daylight savings time. Instead it bore a post-it note stating, “one hour slow.” We woke when we were rested, ate when we were hungry. Our bodies naturally synchronized with nature, our very hearts beating a rhythm much slower than that to which we typically move, back in the “real” world. We are part of nature, not separate from it. Why does it take a time away to make us aware of something so simple and obvious?
Focus on the pace of your life. Focus on the pace of nature. Do they match? Do they come close? Can you carve out a window to live one hour slow?