The first time it happened it was curious.
The second time it was a blow to the head.
The first time I was at the Oregon Coast, searching for the perfect spot to take a sunset photo.
Where I already was didn’t seem quite interesting enough, so I ran to another spot, only to get there a little too late to set up and only to find too many people messing up my angle and only to wish I’d stayed where I was and just enjoyed a quiet moment without a heart-pounding dash thrown in.
The second time I was on Hawaii’s North Shore, trying to capture a sunrise.
Our little rented cottage was just off the beach, but I was on a search for the perfect palm trees to frame the sun and headed off down the street.
The farther I wandered the less likely it began to look that I would find what I was hoping for.
Access to the beach became more limited, houses with No Trespassing signs were everywhere, blocking the way to the beach, and from where I stood, the pink clouds in the distance had telephone wires running in front of them, messing up any chance of an all-nature shot.
So I hightailed it back to where I had started, just in time to realize that those who had been sitting quietly all along enjoyed a better morning than I had by running and searching.
Sometimes I get subtle messages.
Sometimes I hear yelling.
This was yelling.
Why am I always running, thinking that there’s something better around the corner?
When am I going to just sit quietly and enjoy the beauty that comes when you just simply let it?
Running is something a lot of us do.
It’s something we start at early.
Just yesterday I heard a sixth grader read an essay about what she had learned about dealing with stress.
She wrote about how busy she was after school and how sometimes all those extra-curricular activities and homework were really stressful.
And I knew what she was talking about and I wished she could just sit with me and watch the sunset.
If, in fact, there were to be a time when I was actually just sitting during a sunset.
I think the kids now call it FOMO and I have it in spades.
It’s the “fear of missing out” and it’s what keeps some of us running.
And then there’s FONGEYWTDD: Fear of not getting everything you want to do done.
Holidays are a time that running necessarily takes over sitting. They are the two months of the year when it is simply not possible to spend much time – if any – sitting.
But now that I’m getting old, and getting hit over the head with these recurring messages, I am learning that if you are running you might be missing out even more.
I finally sat down in the dunes at the Oregon Coast after a long walk on the beach.
I had a pastry to eat and was far enough away from the seagulls I could eat it without them wanting a taste.
Sand was in my toes, the sun on my back.
My hard-working muscles appreciated the reprieve.
I had been sitting only a few minutes when I looked up from my pastry and out at the ocean.
And saw a rainbow.