Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Slow and steady wins the race?

Is the world divided into two kinds of people - those who like to take their time and those who want everything done yesterday? It is easy to think of this as a modern problem but, let's face it, Aesop told the tortoise and the hare story in the sixth century BC or thereabouts. I think it is just that in this highly mechanised age it is easy to boast about one's "achievements" - like going from A to B in two and a half hours when everyone else takes three hours.
Or maybe this desire to go slowly and steadily comes with age? After all, if it is two legs we are relying on rather than horsepower## then we don't have a lot of choice once our joints begin to creak.
Whatever the reason, I know that now - and forever more - I am a tortoise. I don't wish to contemplate dashing anywhere!

Take the slow train.

Take the slow train.
Let it wander
through the meadows;
count the buttercups;
watch the river
as it glides
under bridges,
through the fields;
see the sunlight
on the water
dappling patterns
through the trees,
and listen - in the stations-
to the birdsong
breaking silence.
You'll arrive there
just the same -
only later and
your head
will be full of nothing more
than the pleasantness
of the journey.

Take the fast train,
the express,
as it flashes
through the fields
and over bridges,
through the stations
empty platforms
,til it shudders
to a halt
at its final destination.
Then you step out
in a whirl
to a crowd of busy people
all intent on getting somewhere
in the shortest possible time.

I know I'm a slow train person.
I need time to "stand and stare".
When it comes to travelling quickly
I'm not going anywhere!

##horsepower!! Today a horse has strolled on to our farm out of nowhere, walking down the middle of the lane and turning into our drive. When the farmer approached it it turned and trotted out into the lane again and into next door's yard - so the farmer shut the gate on it and then shepherded it into the field. We have told all the horsy people in the area and informed the police - but so far no response. I tried to photograph him/her but he/she was having none of it.


Reader Wil said...

Great and true poem! I waited for 40 minutes for the train which was the most convenient, and which went directly to the busstation, and from where I could take a bus which stops in front of my house. I could have taken an earlier train, but then I would have to change trains and to take a bus which stops further away from my address.

Dave King said...

I'm with you, I'm maddeningly slow and getting slower by the day - the days that come too quickly! Delightful poem and a fine post.

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

How perfect to have a horse wander in! Apple would be thrilled, as she loves, loves horses!!

Wonderful poem. I am a slow train person as well, even though I occasionally can be found speed reading on the fast train too!

Derrick said...

Hello Weaver,

Not many slow trains around, these days. Not intentionally slow anyway! But I know I preferred the slow half of your poem!

Pondside said...

Lovely poem, lovely image of a horse wandering down the lane.
The only slow trains left over here are in historic sites - everything else is fast and faster.

The-Grizzled-But-Still-Incorrigible-Scribe-Himself! said...

Whether you go slow by circumstance or choice makes no difference—slow is better. Life is too short to hurry and rush your way through. Everything worth seeing and doing is along the way—so why not give yourself the full pleasure of the experience? A backroad or byway is the preferred route. That's where the view is, the adventure.

Slow trains all you to savor the journey.

(A really nice poem, BTW!)

Elizabeth said...

Slow everything for me
slow food
rest etc etc.
I gather there is also a 'slow children' movement afoot.
I don't mean extra-help children but just ordinary ones whose parents refuse to take them to a zillion 'activities' a day and let them mooch about in the back garden and discover things for themselves.....
lovely thoughtful poem as ever.

Glad my blog is behaving better...nothing to do with me.
Blame blogger.....

EB said...

Yes, I too love doing things slowly, to the consternation of parents, teachers, employers, husband, even sometimes the dog! I thought the poem was great fun.

Leenie said...

Such a fun poem! Enjoy the journey, see the buttercups and sunlight on the water. How did the world get in such a hurry? Right now I am dealing with a customer who waited until the last minute and now expects me to drop everything to meet his deadline! He needs to take a walk in the morning and get his head organized.

Arija said...

Me, I'm a tortoise from way back and have certainly not sped up with the years. I like to enjoy what I'm doing. Love your poem, and hope to see the horse as some tome as well..

mrsnesbitt said...

This is a wonderful poem!
The! Have you room for him? Keep us posted. If you keep him we could pick a name......George ( train poem...or if female........hmmmmm I'm off thinking now....think he'll be male.....Pullman?????oooooooooo love it!

Heather said...

The slow train will suit me very well and I love the poem - is it one of yours? I call myself a plodder and if I just get my head down and work at a gentle pace through all the things that need doing, I get so much more done than if I had raced through all the tasks and worn myself out before they were finished. Besides, if you tear through life you miss so much.

Sara said...

What a wonderful blog! A lovely place to stop by.

Kate Hanke said...

Hmmm, this is an interesting question. For me, I need some time to wander and smell the roses but on the other hand when I have something to get done, I want it done quickly!

jinksy said...

Wasn't it Eartha Kitt who sang that song which included the words 'An Englishman takes his time?' Same should apply to English women, eh? Leave the fast lane to others...
(Of corse, this does NOT apply to the Internet!)

Crafty Green Poet said...

I'm all for the slow train and the dreamy observations as the landscape passes by at a sedate pace....

gleaner said...

Lovely poem Weaver.
I'm another one who needs time to "stand and stare" - I think it allows one to indulge in the lovely long walks of the mind.

Penny said...

love the poem, perhaps I should take note and not be in a great hurry any more,

Hildred and Charles said...

I am so glad you included the 'stand and stare' line, - the sheep and the cows, and even the horses, have it all over those of us who dash and hurry and emulate the 'chicken with its head off' (ehh gruesome picture)

Midlife Jobhunter said...

"You'll arrive there
just the same -
only later and
your head
will be full of nothing more
than the pleasantness
of the journey."

the pleasantness of the journey. Isn't that the truth. Enjoyed the post.

steven said...

hi weaver, i love this writing. it's very reminding as i slow down in the summertime and hit speed through the school season. i hope the horse finds its home again. i imagine you inherit a variety of animals over the course of time. have a peaceful day. steven

Coastcard said...

A lovely poem, Weaver: I enjoyed what I perceived as your 'shadowings'/'echoes' of W.H. Davies and Edward Thomas and 'Adlestrop'. I seem to have been thinking a lot recently about our creativity in the light of what has gone before - about our conscious and subconscious allusions and about what others read in to our words and discover for themselves (or for us). Your journey reminds me of a very pleasant 'little train' ride I took in the grounds of Newby Hall last Easter. It was probably the first ride of the day, and so peaceful beside the river. Later in the day it would have been alive with the sound of children's voices, but for me it was a rare instance of this night owl taking on the guise of an early bird to catch its worm!

Studio Sylvia said...

I am on Long Service Leave for the first time in 34 years and it is wonderful to be out of the rush and grind. Mind you I am working only one paid day a week but it's all the preparation and run around that takes up personal time. Love the poem and agree with your sentiments entirely.
How green is your world? Very different to many places in Australia.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Yes, friends, all say after me -
"Slow is best!" I think we are all agreed.
Nice to have some new readers, too - I shall pop over and read their blogs now.
If you mentioned the horse you will see I put a Stop Press on this morning to say he had been collected by his owner. He was very pleased to see her.
Thanks for the lovely comments.

dinesh chandra said...

hi how r u what about the weather and your farm , ask good morning to all , I like the farm very much i want say some thing about the negative and positive thinking. both r going togther in mind but choose only positive.


dinesh chandra