I was wandering the city streets on a recent blue-sky day, I was struck by a purple haze: a field of lavender. Or rather, a patch of hyssop in small road-side beds by Manhattan’s Westside highway.
I often walk along the river here with my dog Finley, and I am sure these weren’t here a week ago. Perhaps they were placed here by a benevolent plant fairy? Or more likely (and just as magically) they sprouted from their tiny bulbs, suspended in the soil since last year.
There have been huge shifts in our world this year, and I have spent my fair share of time going on long walks trying to figure out what it all means and what my place is in it all. One lesson I learned in the process is that my sense of urgency, my need to do so much so soon, is not a natural urge. Rather it’s a cultural myth — one that has rapidly heightened in the modern age of information immediacy, where everything and everyone is at our fingertips.
This bias towards action keeps us spinning in constant motion, without taking the time to slow down, to analyze and reflect before figuring out which way to go. I am consciously noticing when I feel overwhelmed, and reminding myself that it is unnatural. I am rejecting hustle culture, and embracing slowing down.
Back to my river-side stroll, I stood and stared at the purple flowers a little longer. I appreciated their incongruous beauty against the asphalt. I marvelled at how little they fret, and yet how beautifully they bloom.
Finley gave me a quizzical look as though to say, “Done thinking, human?”, and we kept walking,