How to talk yourself into having genuine interactions
When we were young, our parents had friends that were some of the coolest people our young selves had ever met. Not only did they have cool names (turns out they were nicknames), but when we visited, they had cool things. Like a dog (who also had a cool name), and a peacock. One of the things we liked best about them is that they talked to you like you were an adult when you were very clearly a child. We visited them often—my parents worked with them and we remember taking outings to their place. They also seemed to live in different places all the time. An acreage, then a small town with a windy road. After one such visit, our parents took the kid filled car to explore the dusty, gravel filled back roads. We must have gotten lost because we remember them pulling over to the side of the road and looking at a map. We have many memories of our parents and driving and maps. In this memory we were lost, but they never made you feel like you were lost. We would get out and explore the ditches while they quietly figured it out.
“There’s an art to not feeling hurried. An almost impossible art.”
Earlier this winter, we went snowshoeing. It was an outing with a purpose—Della needed to go get some pictures of Grahamtown, where she works in the summers. All we had to do was snowshoe in, take photos and snowshoe out. It could have been fun and laid back—it was a Saturday. But we’d had three coffees and we were coming out of a busy week. For some reason, it felt like we needed to rush in and rush back out. Picture someone running with snowshoes. Not pretty, right? Halfway through the walk in, we stopped and asked ourselves why we were in such a hurry. Truth was, we didn’t need to be. We had a friend with us and as we took a step back from our hurried movements, we were able to slow down and enjoy our time together.
We like to visit our local farmers market, where one of our favourite local coffee roasters often are. The owners of Trestle Coffee Roasters are the perfect example of this. There can be a line up of ten people long behind you, but they don’t cause you to feel hurried or like you’re rushing them. They’re able to have a genuine conversation with you and make you understand that it’s a genuine interaction. They make your coffee with structured, unhurried movements. We take to heart these interactions, and aspire to live more in an eased manner.
Sometimes we don’t realize how our energies are perceived until someone speaks up. The summer students at Kyra’s job sometimes ask her if they’re stressing her out. Like her hurried energies are somehow their fault, but it’s just the coping mechanism she has given herself over the years. It’s how she gets things done, how she motivates herself. It’s like listening to that fiddle reel during ‘Devil Went Down to Georgia’ while rushing around doing inane tasks. But once we realize what we are doing, we can take a step back, a big breath and talk ourselves into giving other those genuine interactions we so greatly appreciate.
When all of this is over, the Great Pause as some are calling it, and we have finally reached The After, I hope we can talk ourselves into continuing to take things slow, have genuine interactions with people and we can remember to drink a reasonable amount of coffee on Saturdays.
the blue lid.
my love affair with the sky
began at my earliest memory.
it had my parents blessing
as they took me down country roads
stopping the car to let me and my siblings
loose to frolic and play
under the blue sky, the black sky,
with its rainbow garnished clouds.
we stopped in a field to eat
a sandwich on a dirt road
and stretch out legs.
this blue lid gives us freedom
with the sky stretching its arms out
in an embrace that takes many different
shapes as I yell
‘I love you’ to the wind
and the wind replies with a touch
till death do us part.
You can find more poems in our book ‘RAMBLE: A Smidge of Blue’