Slow down, you move too fast

Yesterday afternoon, I hit the grocery store for a few items. And I mean, just a few because I was in a hurry. I was rather sailing down the the bread aisle when I almost took out an older gentleman who was reaching for a loaf of rye bread. How did I know it was rye? He dropped it as I screeched to a halt. I stood in horror as he looked directly at me. Then he said something that I didn’t expect.

“Young lady,” he said. (I liked him already). “You are missing much by speeding around such.”

He was so calm as he said this. The kind of calm that comes from experience. I offered a heartfelt apology as I picked up his bread. And then he said something that, quite simply, amazed me. He asked if I had ever read the play Our Town, by Thornton Wilder. That question stopped me in my tracks.

“Yes,” I said. “I have. I taught that play almost every year for 30 years. It is my favorite play.”

He smiled. “Do you know the line… ‘It goes so fast… .'”

And I nodded as I finished the line with him, “‘We don’t have time to look at one another.'”

He gently touched my hand as he received his loaf of rye bread, and he looked me directly in the eyes. He said, “You have pretty green eyes.” Then he laughed and said, “Slow down! You move too fast.”

I almost broke into that old 59th Street Bridge Song… you know the one… “Slow down, you move too fast, you’ve got to make the morning last…” But the elderly sage was patting his bread in his cart and walking away. I called “thank you” instead. He turned. Winked. And away he went.

And you know what? I did slow down. I breathed in the sights and sounds and smells of that grocery store. I helped a young mom pick up a row of rice boxes that her child had knocked off the shelves. I watched a dad explain why the lobsters had large yellow elastics bands around their claws…

… and I heard the child ask, “But Daddy. How do they wipe their butts?”

Oh well. I was “Just lookin’ for fun. And feelin’ groovy.”

All in all, my trip to the grocery store was nothing short of miraculous.

Slow down, you move too fast was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto
SHOWHIDE Comments (11)
  1. Oh my what a story! We do need to take time to slow down and appreciate life instead of going trough life!

    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. That is a GREAT play. And a wonderful message. Thanks for introducing me to it. I remember going when Taylor was a baby!

  3. Such a sweet story! And oh, how I love that play–I’m jealous that you got to teach it. Emily’s monologue at the end ALWAYS makes me cry. What a wonderful man to not only call you young lady and compliment your eyes, but to take the time to remind you to slow down by quoting a wonderful piece of literature. Thanks for the reminder–we all need to hear that!

  4. Very true. It reminds me of how busy we can get doing the every day little things, rushing through things, that we miss the moments, we miss the little things. Our kids grow up so fast, I don’t want to get to busy to enjoy it.

  5. What an amazing story. It seems as though his comment really made you slow down. And the fact that you were able to help out fellow shoppers, just because of his comment, makes my heart feel good about the ripple effect we seem to have in daily life. Who knows what happened to that young mom after you helped her? 🙂 Very nice story!

  6. What a good story. I love your ability to always find something amazing even in the most ordinary places. We all need to slow down once in awhile, that’s for sure!

  7. I too, believe that your story is wonderful. I am a United Methodist pastor and I hope you won’t mind if I use it in a sermon.

Slow down, you move too fast was last modified: February 9th, 2010 by Sharon Couto