Once upon there was a woman who ran slow.
She also swam slow, jumped slow (which meant she couldn’t really jump), and swung a bat or a racket or a golf club slow. There was nothing wrong with her physically. She had two legs and two arms and two knees and two feet and two hands with 10 fingers and 10 toes, although that’s out of order.
The woman knew other women and men who ran fast and swam fast and biked fast and talked fast and thought fast. The woman admired them, although she could not imagine what it was like to be them. They had all been athletes in high school and/or were discovering their “inner athlete” now.
The woman had no inner athlete in her. She had learned to ride a bike when she was 16 in a big city. She never quite got the hang of it. She took karate in her 40’s and once she had punched the scariest man in the dojo, she quit, because – to be honest – hitting people wasn’t so much fun. Shopping was fun, as was sitting in a comfortable chair looking at nature.
One day the woman watched her fast friends run a big race, where they had to swim, and bike, and run.
And she wondered what could she offer? What could she share?
She thought and thought, and as previously mentioned, this process was not a fast one. It took a long time.
And finally she had one, very simple idea.
She could stand and watch and appreciate the fast ones. She could believe in them. She could value them. It occurred to her suddenly that in this accelerated world that we live in, appreciation, aka love, sometimes gets squeezed out in that rush for the finish line.
So she decided that love should have its due. So she stood at the finish line and waved at all the others. As the fast ones flashed by she beamed her love at them.
As she stood watching the fast friends, she remembered an acquaintance talking about turtles. “They represent courage,” the acquaintance said, “because they are so steadfast.”
She liked that this vision didn’t have the turtle in a race with a rabbit.
There was no race at all in this imagining.
After all the fast friends finished their race, she walked slowly to the hill where they all sat celebrating.
She celebrated with them. Albeit at a leisurely pace.