The very last week of our six week sabbatical we dropped off the camper then drove to a small lake cottage.
For over 5,000 miles we had driven 55-60 miles per hour, hauling our little camper. We crossed rivers and mountains, two lane back roads and six lane highways through big cities. We got used to the cars whizzing past us. We had heard too many horror stories of trying to drive fast with a trailer. So we took our time, sometimes with sighs because even the short days of driving seemed to drag on longer than we’d anticipated.
But a funny thing happened. When we began to go the real speed limit after weeks of traffic flying past us, we were shocked. We hadn’t realized just how slow we were going and the ACTUAL speed limit seemed out of control.
Of course, you know where I’m going with all this. Because it’s September and chances are your calendar looks just like mine. It’s filled with good things— practices and dinners with friends, meetings for good causes and school functions.
As I rushed to get dinner on the table tonight, in between one thing for one kid and another thing for another, I couldn’t help but go back to those lonely Kansas roads. The ones with no cars and almost no towns and wind that would not quit blowing. I thought about the early mornings, when Peter and I would take our coffee outside and sit with our Bibles, talking and dreaming while the kids slept hard, way past their normal time.
I thought about the bike rides in Wyoming, through the pasture where the cows lazily watched us dodge cow patties as they chewed their grass. I remembered the night we sat at a Lake Superior beach for hours, waiting to watch the sunset, the kids playing in the sand with a fast food cup and a football, happy and content.
We’ve been home just over three weeks and I’m finding this transition time like a tug of war. Our summer was amazing, but it was for a time. A sabbatical can’t last forever. And yet I want to hold on to the slowness, to the savoring.
We came home to full speed ahead, plus a little more. And I know this about myself— when I’m moving at a crazy speed, I find it harder to be intentional and purposeful. Words spill out of my mouth and feelings get hurt. My lists give birth to new lists until there’s a List Pile, which happens to hide the Very Important Paper that doesn’t get sent to school until it’s too late.
It seems we’re living in an in-betweeness, processing a sweet season as a family and a trip that helped us really step back and look at our lives. On the other hand, we’re also starting school and jumping back into our everyday life. Our rhythm right now seems to be off as we try to reconcile the two seasons.
Can I whisper something to you? I refuse to live in the fast lane. The squares on my calendar may be full to overflowing, but I’m fighting for the things that really matter. I’m going to get it wrong more than I’ll get it right. But I won’t give up trying.
I’ll slow the car down, look in the rearview mirror and pretend there’s a camper back there. Want to join me?
I’m so very glad you’re here. I hope you’ll stick around so we can get to know one another a little more. Go here if you’d like to receive posts from me via email. I have a few printable verses I’d love to send you to encourage your heart. –Sarah