Living in Los Angeles, I rarely feel a sense of or ability to simply slow down. Life just feels fast, and most days I find myself scrambling and rushing, in spirit if not in body. Today, negotiating life in the coastal town of Tillamook, Oregon (home of the cheese factory and not much else!), I sensed a fairly seismic shift in my being. It was sitting in a doctor’s office, waiting for our appointment, and feeling no sense of hurry or impatience; it was driving through town behind slow cars and not resenting the delay; it was waiting for our lukewarm lattes to be remade at the little Safeway Starbucks stand, and not feeling any irritation.
I feel like I work hard to guard my heart against the things that are toxic about where I live. But coming to Tillamook has shown me that much more of the L.A. mindset has crept in and taken up residence than I realized or would like to admit.
We went to Safeway to pick up a prescription for Aaron (I am afraid this Family Leave has so far had way more to do with doctors and hospitals than we could have imagined, and I am so ready for that to change), and after turning in the prescription we were told it would be a thirty minute wait for it to be filled. So we meandered through the store, picked up a few groceries, sipped our second round of lattes, and entertained Aaron in the shopping cart. I am pretty sure that every person we passed or who passed us inside that store had a smile for the baby and time to stop and chat, make faces, or play.
I realize that Tillamook is about as far removed from L.A. as can be imagined, but today felt like we occupied an alternate universe. And it felt great.