Slow down and enjoy life. It’s not only the scenery you miss by going too fast – you also miss the sense of where you are going and why. ~ Eddie Cantor
After traveling more than 400km on five buses and three taxis, crossing two borders and sleeping in three different rooms in the same number of nights, we were all pretty tired. And after Granny’s visit to the hospital, where she saw another extremely helpful doctor, we agreed that we must take the next few days in Bacalar slow. We spent two days strolling around central park, walking Granny’s stool samples to the lab, getting to know our Mennonite neighbours, sitting in the shade of the giant mango tree that overlooks the blue lagoon, eating simple kitchen-less meals, and hoping Granny could feel better before our four hour bus to Playa Del Carmen. Asher, your amazing mother, who has worked tirelessly to give you what has been arguably the best start to life one could ever receive, also became ill, so you and I spent some extra time bonding on the grass where we practiced your newest skill, standing up unassisted.
Granny usually feels better quickly after an illness but this has its negatives; she is never forced to slow down for any length of time. Granny keeps very busy working on the camp, volunteering in the school, taking computer lessons and organizing family functions, so when she arrived in Guatemala, her body was unfamiliar with the ultra slow pace, and not wanting to miss a second, she would push herself before she was fully recovered. We live such fast paced lives back home that it is often difficult to slow down. We are so consumed with filling our schedules that we often forget why it is that we are moving so quickly. What are our goals and dreams for ourselves and others in the present and in the future? Is the intensity with which we hammer time aiding us in, or barricading us from, these goals and dreams? Have we even slowed down enough to hear the depths of our consciousness express what we truly want?
When our actions are not in line with our world view, a whole host of problems manifest: difficulty sleeping, weight gain, muscle atrophy, stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, impulsive emotions, etc. Seeing as how this paints the picture of the average North American, it is evident that there is a misalignment of world views en masse. In Canada, one person dies from heart disease every seven minutes, 62% of adult Canadians are overweight or obese, one in five have high blood pressure, and only 15% accumulate the recommended 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week – with lack of time being the biggest roadblock. Our inability to slow down is, quite frankly, making us sick.
Asher, being laid up in Bacalar forced us to slow down and though Granny was upset that we missed some great photo opportunities, it reminded us that, like taking photos, when we are moving too fast, life becomes a blur.