April 26, 2018

Slow, Slower, Stop

“I like walking because it is slow, and I suspect that the mind, like the feet, works at about three miles an hour. If this is so, then modern life is moving faster than the speed of thought or thoughtfulness.” 

― Rebecca Solnit

I have three speed settings: slow, slower, and stop. I don't like to be rushed or pressured while doing things. In a speedy world, this leisurely pace is not popular. My faster friends gave me the nickname, "Sloth Man". 

I approved - I like sloths. They are slow, methodical, and patient. Sloths are also solitary animals, and spend most of their time in the trees. They sleep 10 hours a day, are vegetarian, and appear to always be smiling.

I must admit that the resemblance is uncanny. But considering the facts, who wouldn't take the moniker to be a complement? I did.

So it is, when out on my bike, that I find myself passing through the landscape far, far too fast. On every ride I take the time to stop, set my bike down, and leisurely stroll and explore on foot. 

While on foot a person can choose to walk, stroll, saunter or wander. You can actually notice things, and start to blend in with your surroundings, instead of passing through like a streaking blur while missing all the good stuff.

“Downshifting is a fast growing movement of people who choose voluntary simplicity in all aspects of their life. 
Downshifters go beyond  materialism – beyond the fast life. They downshift to a slow connected life.”

If you ride a bike very slowly you will fall over; a certain amount of speed is required, and even that pace is often - you guessed it - too fast for me.

Needless to say, driving these days feels like blasting through time and space at Warp 9 on the Starship Enterprise. Blasting down to the grocery store and back in our van every couple of weeks is enough driving for me.

So it is that I live my life slowly, and slowlier. And the slowliest speed of all, of course, is stop, another of my favourite paces. When one stops, one can see a lot, think a lot, experience a lot.

Imagine if the whole world would just move more slowly, or even stop every once is a while. See more, fewer accidents, less fuel burned, fewer frayed nerves. 

If fast food is bad (it is), then slow food is the answer. 

Maybe the slow way is also the answer to many of our modern challenges. The worst case scenario would be that things on our planet would continue to deteriorate at a more petty pace. 

Best case scenario is that we would find that slow is better. Life is short, and should be savoured slowly, not slaked speedily. 

It's the Sloth Life for me. I highly recommend it.


  1. A sloth? Hmmm... I think I've found my totem animal. I'm very sloth like as well and have no desire to go at a faster pace. Like You, going out in the car once a week or so, is more than enough fastness for me. I find that I practically need to hibernate just to recover from my senses being so overwhelmed. Slow, slower, stop is the way to go.

    1. Marla,

      Things that go slow tend to live longer.

      High speed motor vehicle crashes are deadly, while slow speed accidents are called "fender benders", and no one gets hurt. I also feel overwhelmed while driving, sometimes while biking, and never while walking or just sitting.

      It is hard to connect with each other, nature, and our food, when we are blasting around at hyper-speed.

  2. I operate on a slower pace now. When I do go out to grocery store, etc I choose a less busy time, a time when there is less traffic, less people. It's very stressful just to think of my need to go back to work because I know I will have to increase my pace. Looks like you happened upon a peacefully ambling stream. Very nice.

    1. Terri z,

      It was the first time I had been to this spot. It was beautiful with the sound of running water and the call of Robins.

  3. We have definitely down sized to a slower, more connected life. We've been at our new home in a small country town just over a week and I am loving not having to drive anywhere. I love to go out walking and meet people who care about their community. I love being part of a community where folk grow their own food and offer surplus for free in boxes on the footpath. And it's so quiet. No noise or light pollution. Slow is where it's at, I'm convinced!

    1. Karen,

      Hey! Alright - things have come to fruition. Congratulations on your move. It sounds wonderful. And slow. Perfect.

  4. Anonymous4/28/2018

    Hi, i just wanted to say what a fantastic blog this is!! Im making my way through the archives and am loving it all. Thanks for such a great resource.

    1. Anon,

      You are so welcome. Thank you for taking interest in our blog, and letting us know.

  5. Anonymous4/28/2018

    We just started a Slow Food chapter in my area and I am so happy to be a part of it. I volunteered to man our booth last weekend at a big Earth Day event and everyone's question was: what is Slow Food?! My reply: "It's the opposite of fast food." Then we moved forward together from there. Glad to read this post - so relevant to us all! I often stop to think of the things I take as givens - email, phone, Netflix, social media, etc...our ancestors would have laughed at it all, then walked away toward a sane way of living. -Erin

    1. Erin,

      That's what I am talking about. Awesome. Linda and I love cooking (slowly) together, and consider all our hard work to completely worthwhile for the yummy, wholesome food we end up eating.

      When my back was gimped we had to rely more on processed foods for a few weeks. It was awful. We could not only taste the difference, we could feel it.

  6. Namakemono4/28/2018

    Sloths are cool!! "Namakemono" is the Japanese word for a "sloth" (i.e. the animal) (and also for a "lazy person" but not quite the negative connotations that come with "sloth" in English )

    1. Namakemono,

      Excellent. I could do without the negative connotations, that are not deserved. Speed is not all its cranked up to be. I'm with the Namakemono.


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