*Note: This audio essay first aired on KRCC (Colorado Springs’ NPR affiliate, 91.5 FM) on September 17, 2020. The link to the program is here; the audio file and the text from the essay are below.

In December, I rushed ahead of my 5-year-old so far I left her in a snowdrift.

She caught up, and I said, “Honey, can’t you walk a little faster?”

She looked me right in the eye, and responded, “Daddy, I like to walk slow because I get to look at things.”

The tiny angel sang clear: slow down. Cut the coffee and caffeine cord and walk.

Don’t seize the day.

Grip it.

Own it.

Own today, because your today is the only today you’re ever gonna get.

Now, OK, wisdom machine she is not. The other day she explained her “brain pocket” — where she keeps ideas — and told me I smelled like “overcooked lemons and bananas.”

But that day in the snow, she was onto something.

Walk slow, and look at things.

It’s something I do my best to follow. Especially now, when all we want is to hurry on through this pandemic.

Eating my breakfast.
Driving to work.
Masking my face. 
Writing an email. 
Washing my hands. 
The internet’s not working. 
Fixing the internet. 
Sanitizing my hands. 
Ohp, internet’s back up. 
Writing an email. 
Washing my hands. 
Washing my hands. 

Washing my hands.

Washing my hands.

But if we fast forward through COVID, we’ll throw out too much good life along with the bad stuff.

Besides, for us, here, we’ve got a lot of good reasons to walk slow, and look at things. Endless trails, red rocks, a garden from the gods, and that giant purple majestic mountain.

The only thing we don’t got is mosquitoes.

So if you can hear this, listen carefully to the 5-year-old that wouldn’t dare touch an overcooked lemon: stash some peak-sunshine in your brain pocket — and, even in a pandemic, walk slow, and look at things.

Be good.

Be well.

Be strong enough to know when you feel weak and ask for help.

Until next week, no matter what, climb on.

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