Life At 29MPH – A Journey Out of the Fast Lane
Recently my wife and I had the amazing blessing of spending a couple of days driving on Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park. Words fall far short of being able to capture the experience. Pictures can only show you simple images, not the majesty we felt as we stopped along the drive. However, I will include some in this post as eye candy for those who appreciate visuals.
One thing, however, that I do hope to somehow capture for you is the difference in the pace of life on the drive. Prior to getting on the scenic by-way we had been driving interstates all the way from Florida. We had become accustom to highway speeds. On the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive the speed is significantly slower. Most places on the Blue Ridge are posted at 45MPH and Skyline is primarily 35MPH. After a few miles on the roads, however, we determined that even those speeds were too swift to really appreciate where we were.
So we slowed down. We slowed way down. When you have been averaging speeds of 70-75 on the interstate it is a little shocking to set the cruise control at 29. It was hard. Once when we got off the drive to go into town for something we hit a highway and were stunned at how much faster it felt to drive 55. It does not feel normal to go so slow in our hectic race and rush of life.
As we were talking about the experience we thought about a couple of things related to the change in speed as we traveled. First, what are we missing as we are zipping through life? I know that we would have missed seeing at least one of the bears we saw as well as several deer and some incredible sights if we had not been cruising at 29MPH. As we pass things in such a blur in the daily rat race I am grieved to think of what I could have seen if I had only slowed down a little.
Second, what are we failing to fully appreciate in the rush of our daily routines? I couldn’t begin to account for the number of times we uttered a stunned “WOW” as we drove along. There were vistas that allowed us to see for miles. Beauty discovered just off the road on a meadow path. Amazing wildlife some might wait their whole life to see. It was all around us. Then I remembered, aren’t these things around us, or other similarly amazing things, all the time. We just don’t slow down enough to appreciate what surrounds us.
I probably won’t set my cruise to that speed again for a while. What I hope I can carry away from these past few days, and what you might also glean from this, is that it is alright to slow down. In fact, I think it’s a requirement to truly enjoy and appreciate life. So, slow down, set your cruise for comfort and be amazed. You might discover something astounding living life at 29MPH for a little while.
Enjoy the Journey!