Friday, August 19, 2011

The pace of life

I went for a slow three mile run yesterday around Lake Harriet.  Truth be told, I far prefer running fast.  But without training, this is tough to do, particularly as one gets older.  It also requires regular training, and a slow progression to improve one's running times, much like any other sport or endeavor.

Biking got me spoiled with speed this summer.  I can go twice as fast on a bike as on foot. However I also discovered biking is considerably more dangerous.  When going fast on narrow tires it doesn't take much to have a fall.  I feel far safer and "grounded" when I'm walking or running.

Whatever pace one might prefer, it seems we've all been thrust into "life in the fast lane".  Electronics now move at lightening speed, and so goes the pace of our communication in the 21st century. This however is out of sync with the natural world.  I realize this every time I look at our garden and think, "what's taking those beans so long to grow?"... or, "come on tomatoes, we haven't got all day to ripen".

I'm reading a book Inquires into the nature of slow money: investing as if food, farms, and fertility mattered, by Woody Tasch, that highlights the dissonance between our face paced world with its increasingly unrealistic expectations and the slower cadence of nature and agriculture.  I particularly like the following quote from the prologue of this book by David Orr, author of Our Land, Our Selves.

Having exceeded the speed limits, we are vulnerable to ecological degradation, economic arrangements that are unjust and unsustainable, and, in the face of great and complex problems, to befuddlement that comes with information overload.

It is time to question the bigger and faster is better belief that has us all running like lemmings over a cliff.


  1. Dan,
    I've been enjoying your regular posts lately. Your gardening quote struck a nerve because I've been wondering if my red raspberries will be ripe before the first frost.

  2. Thanks Dave,
    Hope those raspberries ripen up for you in time!
    Enjoy these last days before school starts back up.