After a rain, it’s common here to see snails sliding around in shallow puddles as drops of water continue to fall from the trees. They seem to come out of nowhere, most likely washed into that location, but then moving so slowly that it’s nearly impossible to see any movement at all. Since snails come with shells, they’re actually rather beautiful, albeit slimy, and much preferred over slugs, their homeless, naked cousins who also show up to the party. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a snail. I admire their patience. I’ve rarely move at snail’s pace, usually bouncing around from one thing to the next, trying to get everything I can done in a day. Modern communication methods seemed to have sped up life. Everything happens simultaneously. No more waiting for “snail mail” to arrive, texts can be sent in an instant. It’s amazing, to be sure, but sometimes it feels like something has been lost.
I’ve never liked talking on the phone, so when texting became a thing, I was one of the first to sign up. It’s not that I didn’t like talking to people, it’s just that if I was going to talk to them, I wanted a face to go with the voice. Texting seemed more efficient. You could simply compose a message, send it, and wait for a reply. This type of delayed communication meant that you could continue doing whatever it was you were doing and simply hop back into the conversation when it was convenient. You could even have several conversations going at one time. Very efficient. But it was something so new. You could never have had ten conversations going at once when I was younger. That would have been considered both rude and well, sort of maddening, because who the hell would ever want to deal with that?
Yet, here we are, in a time when that’s exactly what a day might look like. It’s no wonder so many people feel like they need to rush about and never have time to get things done. As much as I love social media and am very active on it, I now schedule time for it. Just like how I carve out my little time each day to paint and write, which is precious to me. The truth is, we have just as much time as we always did. It just takes a little more thoughtful planning, to make sure in all the fuss we’re always finding the time to do what matters most to us. At least, that’s what I always try to do. It’s not easy, but it’s always worth it. On those days when everything seems a little too hectic and crazy, I just think about those spring rains. And slow down instead. I may not get everything done on that blasted list, but I know I’ll be truly happy. Slowing down to experience a simpler life so that, even for a brief moment, I can finally feel as content as a snail in a puddle.
Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world! If you’d like to be a guest artist on Doodlewash.com, contact me!